DEVMAGMIWIRTEC - Development of Magnetic MIcro-Wires for Technical Applications

Basque Country, Spain Slovakia

General goal of the present project is to develop the manufacturing of a novel technological family of thin metallic magnetic wire with about 0,01 mm in diameter and to prepare their technological application in magnetic TAGs.

Such novel materials have been introduced recently mainly by European physicists in a laboratory level and proved to be very promising in many technological applications owing to their excellent magnetic and mechanical properties.

The innovative processing technology includes the fabrication of metallic wires by a rapid solidification process, cooling and drawing, at a velocity of about 106 ºC/s with a production rate of around 1 meter per second, obtaining a wire shaped material with amorphous and/or nanocrystalline structure covered by an insulating glass coating.

Such materials have a number of advantages from point of view of applications. Among the main features suitable for technological applications, thin geometric dimensions (typically between 5 and 30 ?m), capability to produce almost continuous microwires with uniform diameter (up to 10 km in one bobbin) and to obtain microwires with extended composition of the metallic nucleus with different microstructural character (amorphous, nanocrystalline, granular, polycrystalline...). Additionally they show unusual and promising magnetic properties, such as magnetic bistability. It means that the magnetization can be aligned only along the wire axis. Under application of external magnetic field with the direction opposite to the wire magnetization the magnetization changes its alignment from positive to negative by means of large and single Barkhausen jump, showing perfectly rectangular shape. It was demonstrated that this rectangular hysteresis loop is quite suitable for the magnetic encoding, i.e. can be useful for magnetic TAGs.

Such features of glass-coated micwories, especially taking into account their reduced dimensionality (total diameter is of the order of 0,01 mm) and high corrosion and mechanical resistance arising from protective glass coating and unusual and good magnetic properties make them quite interesting for use in magnetic codification using magnetic TAGs.
Based on promising early stage research performed at the laboratory scale, one should be able to apply this knowledge to industrial applications, such as:

  1. Based on re-producible highly homogeneous fabrication method, introduce different kinds (different geometry and/or compositions) of these magnetic wires into magnetic TAGs in order to use their different magnetic response for the magnetic codification.
  2. Introduction of such microwires inside the paper or tissue in order to create the magnetic labels (TAG) allowing the recognition of the objects.

It is therefore proposed to address their optimisation, for application in magnetic TAGs, regarding the performance and manufacturing costs, where performances include magnetic, thermal and mechanical behaviour.

The development of magnetic sensors for detection of the objects and products is one of the most dynamically growing applications of modern industry. Different technological sectors like automobile, aeronautics and authentication of the products demand every time miniaturized sensors but and with greater functionalities for their integration in systems of control, regulation, measurement, detection, and technologies of the Information, among others.

The consortium, specialist in the design and fabrication of magnetic microwires and on studies of their magnetic properties, consist of public and private research laboratories and enterprises whole background is closely connected to material production, processing, magnetic properties optimisation and the electromagnetic compatibility of electronic transmission systems.

The technology consists of fabrication of metallic wires by a Rapid Solidification Process, melting in a crucible the metal and then solidified at a velocity of 106 ºC/s with a production rate of 1 meter per second, obtaining a microwire in amorphous and/or nanocrystalline state. Using adequate chemical composition, fabrication process conditions and samples processing we expect to obtain the microwires with perfectly rectangular hysteresis loops with plurality of the switching fields. Consequently using such magnetic microwires with perfectly rectangular hysteresis loops with different switching fields we´ll design the magnetic TAGs suitable for the detection/recognition of the objects.

Newly discovered magnetic microwires have extraordinary properties, which make them suitable within a huge range of new products, systems and even for the establishment of new industries within modern technologies. There is general tendency for an increase of security rules.

Also, a number of proposed sensors can be considered in the automotive market (it is known that modern cars for example count on quite a large number of sensing devices). The main market drivers for automotive devices are the growing expectations from customers who demand increased safety, convenience and comfort at lower prices, while at the same time the manufacturers must comply with legislation in the areas of emission control, fuel economy, safety and security.

As it is known, at the present time this extraordinarily extended the system of article codification with bar codes that passively allow fundamentally associating the referred codes to certain characteristics of the product prices. This system of codification can be replaced by microwires with the advantage to contribute all the information that is required of that product (price, weight, lifetime, power value, etc.). On the other hand, the microwires can contribute to an excellent control in antitheft systems for the supermarkets. Additionally the microwires can be suitable for the control of accessibility from people to certain places whose presence can be restricted.

Technical issues will establish the following trends: i) Cost reduction, miniaturisation, higher reliability of components, ii) Distributed, modular architecture: distributed CU will manage several functions; this requires a higher degree of networking between modules, iii) Higher complexity of modules comprising self-test, self-calibration, data reduction, bus interface; the consequence is a higher functional integration, iv) Integration of modules into the aggregates; this requires, amongst others, higher temperature resistance.

We expect that in many of these aspects the characteristics of microwires systems can introduce new opportunities stand-alone ADFNS devices have ideal properties to meet these requirements.

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