GKN says that, in tests, a 3D printed copper induction coil offered better results than a conventionally produced part.

According to the company, copper induction coils are important components for many industries and must meet stringent performance requirements for conductivity, weldability, energy consumption and more. 

During the first test, the company 3D printed a standard ring induction coil made with CuCr1Zr (copper-chromium-zirconium) to match a coil that was made using conventional grinding and soldering methods. In the second test, it additively manufactured a hairpin coil with small dimensions to compare it to a conventional hairpin coil.

‘In terms of performance, the higher dimensional accuracy of the 3D printed copper coils results in improved water flow,’ a press release said. ‘For the ring coil, the water flow performance slightly enhanced compared to the conventional coil (26-27L/min). For the hairpin coil, we saw impressive improvements: Water flow was increased from 2L/min with the conventional hairpin coil to 6-7L/min with the 3D printed coil.’

GKN says that hairpin coils can be challenging to produce using traditional manufacturing due to their complex structure. With AM, the hairpin's geometry can be precisely reproduced, and the overall water flow performance of the coil results can be improvement.   

The copper coils were also subjected to a hardening process to evaluate differences in behavior, and both the 3D printed and conventional coils demonstrated similar hardening behaviors, GKN noted.

This story uses material from GKN, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.