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Innovative Additive Manufactured Designs of Multi-Functional High Performance Active/Non-Active Parts in Traction Electrical Machines

   Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems (AAPS)

  , Prof Peter Wilson  Applications accepted all year round  Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

In electric vehicle motors, the most critical temperature-rise occur in the winding (active) of the electrical machines. To improve the thermal capability of the traction electrical machines, additive manufacturing approaches can be used for modularisation of active parts in electrical machines, such as windings (active) and non-active parts, such as shaft, inner rotor core, and frame, to become denser and cooler. The use of additive manufacturing will allow increasing the slot fill factor which can improve the power and torque production significantly. Better thermal capability and an ability to discretely alter power output. From the manufacturing perspective of these newly designed parts, assembly is however more complex and manufacturing tolerances have crucial effect on electromagnetic and mechanical performance through the introduction of sophisticated geometries and designs. Electrical machines with a multi-functional modular structure need more individual components than standard designs, are dependent on the tolerance between components and require more manufacturing steps. In this research, the main aim is to develop new additive manufactured coils where they advantage from embedded cooling ducts via heat exchangers to reduce the steady-state and transient temperature distributions in the machine. In this work, we will offer multi-functional additive manufactured winding and tooth models to increase the power capability of the machine. The outcome of this study will lead into more powerful and less volume and lighter electrical machines. To enable more precise solutions informed by manufacturing processes. A range of electric machine topologies will be considered. Furthermore, we will study hybrid materials in order to develop and classify versatile modular structures which offer improved mechanical integrity, electromagnetic performance and easier assembly. The new designs will be prototyped at Renishaw and will be experimentally tested under different conditions. Note that non-active parts of the electric machine refer to the iron/steel parts where the part electromagnetically does not contribute to the total power and torque in the machine.

The outcome of this work will improve the overall power density of the electric machines via newly developed multi-functional (active) parts. The main objective of this study focuses on innovative designs and manufacturing high performance coils to be used in benchmark traction electric machines. The research team will also investigate the possibility to employ hybrid parts where new materials (e.g. silver) can be modelled for additional functionalities into the active parts of the electric machines.

In summary, the project’s main tasks are:

Objective 1: High performance coil (active) and iron parts (non-active) design state-of-the-art for electric machines. We will also study and select some benchmark electric machine for this project.

Objective 2: The selected benchmark electric machines and their winding designs will be assessed. Investigating the alternative materials and new geometries for the same machines will be done

Objective 3: New coil (active) and iron part (non-active) deigns will be studied using hybrid and potentially new materials. The new multi-functional coils will be simulated using multi-physics high-fidelity methods to analyse electromagnetic, thermal, and mechanical analyses of the developed high performance coils.

Objective 4: The cooling flow through the new coil design will be also investigated using 3D CFD modelling to ensure the duct design and manufacturing feasibility of the novel geometries. This research team will be liaising with Renishaw team to make sure the new geometries are feasible and manufacturable.

Objective 5: Manufacturing the developed novel coil and non-active parts with different alternatives, such as single pure copper powdered and hybrid like copper and silver materials. The new deigns will be prototyped for some experimental tests.

This project is offered as part of the Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems (AAPS CDT).  The Centre is inspiring and working with the next generation of leaders to pioneer and shape the transition to clean, sustainable, affordable mobility for all. 

Prospective students for this project will be applying for the CDT programme which integrates a one-year MRes with a three to four-year PhD  

AAPS is a remarkable hybrid think-and-do tank where disciplines connect and collide to explore new ways of moving people. The MRes year is conducted as an interdisciplinary cohort with a focus on systems thinking, team-working and research skills. On successful completion of the MRes, you will progress to the PhD phase where you will establish detailed knowledge in your chosen area of research alongside colleagues working across a broad spectrum of challenges facing the Industry.  

The AAPS community is both stretching and supportive, encouraging our students to explore their research in a challenging but highly collaborative way. You will be able to work with peers from a diverse background, academics with real world experience and a broad spectrum of industry partners. 

Throughout your time with AAPS you will benefit from our training activities such mentoring future cohorts and participation in centre activities such as masterclasses, research seminars, think tanks and guest lectures. 

All new students joining the CDT will be assigned student mentor and a minimum of 2 academic supervisors at the point of starting their PhD. 

Funding is available for four-years (full time equivalent) for Home students. 

See our website to apply and find more details about our unique training programme (  

Funding Notes

AAPS CDT studentships are available on a competition basis for UK students for up to 4 years. Funding will cover UK tuition fees as well as providing maintenance at the UKRI doctoral stipend rate (£17,668 per annum for 2022/23 rate) and a training support fee of £1,000 per annum.

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