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Fixation of buried and surface mounted magnets in

high-speed permanent magnet synchronous motors

Andreas Binder, Tobias Schneider, Markus Klohr
Department of Electrical Energy Conversion
Darmstadt University of Technology
Darmstadt, Germany

Abstract— High-speed applications involve technical and

economical advantages, because as direct drives they avoid the
gear as an additional mechanical drive component. Permanent
magnet synchronous machines are attracting growing attention
for high-speed drives. Surface mounted permanent magnet
synchronous machines request a glass or carbon fibre bandage to a) b)
fasten the magnets to the rotor surface at high speed. At rotors Figure 1. a) Surface mounted magnet and b) buried magnet synchronous
with "buried" magnets the rotor iron itself fixes the magnets. rotors
The paper presents simple calculation strategies and discusses
their limits for the mechanical design of high-speed machines machines and switched reluctance machines. Nowadays,
with either surface mounted or buried magnets. The results of permanent magnet synchronous machines (PMSM) are
the calculations are compared with FE-calculations.
becoming more and more favoured. Due to the non-electric
Keywords: high-speed machines, permanent magnet machines, excitation, rotor losses are very small, leading to minor
magnetic levitation thermal rotor expansion and to an increased efficiency.
However, high-speed direct drives require special motor
I. INTRODUCTION designs especially with respect to mechanical issues to be able
to withstand high mechanical stress. In case of permanent
Using compact high-speed motors instead of geared standard
magnet synchronous machines, two different rotor
motors for e.g. compressors or vacuum pumps reduces the
constructions, surface mounted magnets and buried magnets
number of drive components, increases system reliability and
(Fig. 1), can be distinguished and need different design
offers the opportunity to reduce costs. The main benefits of
gearless, directly coupled high-speed machines are the
prevention of gear costs, oil leakage, gear maintenance and II. BANDAGE DESIGN FOR SURFACE MOUNTED MAGNET
gear losses. Furthermore, noise can also be reduced HIGH-SPEED MACHINES
significantly by avoiding an additional transmission system.
As high-speed machines generate high power from high
rotational speed, but small torque, small and very compact
motors allow for new integrated drive constructions. Examples
for the application of directly coupled high-speed machines
• high-speed cutting in tooling machines, Figure 2. Axial cross section of a PMSM with carbon fibre bandage (α e < 1)

• compressors, Fig. 2 shows an axial cross section of a permanent magnet

• high-speed generators in microgasturbines for the synchronous machine with permanent magnets glued onto the
currently discussed decentralised power supply, rotor surface and fixed by a carbon or glass fibre bandage. To
achieve a defined prestress and therefore a defined contact
• motor-generators for flywheel applications,
force, bandages are designed as prefabricated sleeves made
• starter generators for aircraft engines, from either glass or carbon fibre, which is embedded within an
• drives for balancing machines etc. epoxy resin matrix. At a circumferential speed above typically
150 m/s, the strength of glass fibre bandages is not sufficient
Different ac motor concepts are qualified for high-speed anymore to safely fix the magnets to the rotor surface. In these
applications, such as squirrel cage induction motors, e.g. with cases, the carbon fibre technology with maximum permissible
massive rotors, permanent magnet or homopolar synchronous tension of the fibre-matrix composite of σt,max = 1100 N/mm2

IAS 2005 2843 0-7803-9208-6/05/$20.00 © 2005 IEEE

 r2  r 2 
pc,prestess (r ) = σ t,prestress ⋅  2 i 2 ⋅ 1 + a2  
Material E11 [GPa] E12 [GPa] σt,max [N/mm²] r −r  r 
 a i  
Glass fibre GF 73 73 2400 (20°C)
(“thick shell”) (4b)
Carbon fibre CF 240 16.4 4800 (20°C)
60% CF matrix 142 9.7 2475 (20°C)
Here, hb and rb represent height and average radius of the
55% CF matrix 132 8.8 -
bandage, while ri and ra are the inner and outer bandage
temperature influence 1650 (150°C)
radius. Whereas glass fibre YOUNG’s modulus is nearly the
manufacturing influence 1100 (150°C)
same in radial (E11) and tangential (E12) direction (“isotropic
shell”, E11 = E12), for carbon fibre these values differ
(including deterioration effect due to manufacturing) is a high considerably (orthotropic shell, E11 >> E12, Table I). Equations
quality alternative [1] (Table I). With respect to the rotor outer (3)...(5) do not consider this effect. Heating of the rotor
diameter da, the sleeve has a small undersize ∆D. The components during operation by e.g. friction and windage
assembly of the rotor is done by either axial pressing or cold losses can be included in the calculation by using thermally
shrinking of the sleeve onto the rotor. The contact force due to expanded rotor geometry data in (3) and (4). Whereas thermal
the glue is neglected in the following, as – due to the large expansion of the bandage is negligible, expansion of metal
number of magnets – it may vary from magnet to magnet, thus rotor parts, such as rotor iron and magnets, will put a big strain
being uncertain. The mechanical stress of the bandage is on the bandage. Additional tangential stress due to rotation of
mainly in the form of tangential tensile stress σt. If the rotor is the “thin” bandage with mass density ρb at overspeed ωoverspeed,
designed with an inter-pole gap (pole coverage ratio αe < 1), which can be treated as a rotating ring, is given by (5a). If the
additional bending load occurs at the magnet edges. In an bandage is considered as a “thick” shell, the tangential stress
overspeed test, the bandage has to withstand centrifugal forces depends on the radius. For the inner radius ri, where the
at 20% overspeed for 2 minutes and must provide a positive tangential stress is maximum, it is given by (5b). The
residual contact pressure pc between the magnets and the rotor additional centrifugal forces on magnets and bandage each
iron. It must be assured, that the maximum permissible reduce the total contact pressure between rotor and magnets by
tangential stress inside the bandage is not exceeded. These two (6) and (7), with radius r, mass density ρ and height h of
fundamental conditions for the mechanical stability of a high magnet (m) and bandage (b), respectively.
speed permanent magnet rotor at overspeed are described by
(1) and (2). 2
σ t,ω = ρ b ⋅ ω overspeed ⋅r2 (“thin shell”) (5a)
pc (n = noverspeed ) = pc, prestress − pω,m − pω,b > 0 (1)
σ t,ω (ri ) = 0,4125 ⋅ ρ b ⋅ ω overspeed ⋅ (0,424ri2 + 2ra2 )
σ t (n = noverspeed ) = σ t, prestress + σ t, ω < σ t, max (2) (“thick shell) (5b)

For simple, but realistic rotor configurations with rotational pω,m = rm ⋅ ρ m ⋅ ωoverspeed ⋅ hm (6)
symmetry, the bandage design can be done using the
following formulas [2]. For more detailed investigations in 2
pω,b = rb ⋅ ρ b ⋅ ω overspeed ⋅ hb (7)
case of rotors with an inter-pole gap or with influence of
magnet edges pressing against the bandage, more elaborate
analytical or FE (Finite Element) calculations are necessary.
Using YOUNG’s modulus E, the sleeve undersize ∆D and the
40000 RPM
bandage height hb, the prestress and the contact pressure due
to shrinking or pressing of the sleeve onto the rotor is given by For a magnetically levitated PMSM with PN = 40 kW, rated
(3) and (4a), if the bandage is considered as a “thin” shell. If speed nN = 40000 rpm, two different rotors with surface
the bandage is considered as a “thick” shell, equation (4b) mounted Sm2Co17 magnets have been designed and built. The
needs to be employed [3]. rotor circumferential speed at overspeed n = 1.2 ⋅ nN =
48000 rpm is vu = 222 m/s. The main parameters of the two
∆D rotors are shown in Table II.
σ t,prestress = ε ⋅ E = ⋅E (3)
da A. Design of rotor M1
To limit the magnitude of air gap flux density harmonics,
σ t,prestress ⋅ hb rotor M1 (Fig. 3) is built with a pole coverage ratio of
pc,prestess = (“thin shell”) (4a) αe = 87 %. To avoid eddy currents, the inter pole gap of rotor
M1 is filled with a non-conducting resin mass with a low mass

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Rotor M1 M2
rotor outer diameter da 88.6 mm 83.6 mm
pole coverage ratio αe 0.87 1.00
air gap δ 0.7 mm 3.2 mm
thickness of bandage hb 5.7 mm 4.8 mm
magnet height hm 7.0 mm 4.5 mm
bandage undersize ∆D 0.24 mm 0.13 mm
mounting of bandage axial cold
pressing shrinking
at –190°C
bandage stress limit σt,max 1100 N/mm² 1100 N/mm²
Figure 4. Calculated radial stress variation σ r inside the bandage of rotor M1
at n = 40000 rpm and ϑ = 150°C


σt,lim = 1100 N/mm2

n = 48000 min-1
ϑrotor = 150°C

600 σt,ω rotation

σt,th thermal expansion

σt,prestress prestress at 20°C

Figure 3. Rotor M1, nN = 40000 rpm, magnetic levitation, carbon fibre

bandage 1 2 3 4 5
1: thin shell, isotropic 2: thick shell, isotropic
density of 1.3 g/cm3, compared to a mass density of the 3: thick shell, orthotropic 4: bending, isotropic
5: FEM calculation, including bending, orthotropic
magnets of ρm = 8.3 g/cm³. This causes a considerable
variation of radial bandage stress along the circumference, Figure 5. Calculated tangential bandage stress σ t for different bandage
leading to additional bending forces in the carbon fibre
(Fig. 4). This bending stress is not included in equations
(1)...(6), so that more sophisticated calculations, considering
also orthotropic behaviour of the fibre material and bending
forces or FE calculations are required (Fig. 5). In this case
(1)...(6) yield too low values for the tensile stress (Fig. 5, case
1, 2). Residual contact pressure at overspeed and ϑrotor =
150°C is calculated as pc = 29.4 N/mm2. The analytical result
for tangential bandage stress, treating the bandage as a thick
shell, is σt = 669,3 N/mm2. In addition, local stress due to the
edges of the magnets, which are of rectangular cross-section,
must be added. So the v. MISES equivalent stress might be Figure 6. Rotor M1 after the bandage crash at n = 35000 rpm
surpassing the indicated stress limit at overspeed 48000 rpm.
Note, that prestress and thermal expansion are the dominating magnetic pole (Fig. 6). Even though thorough investigations
effects on bandage stress. of the damaged rotor could not reveal the exact reason for the
crash of the bandage, imperfections of the carbon fibre
In Fig. 5, case 5, finite element calculation results show that bandage matrix, deterioration of the carbon fibre strength
rotor M1 has a very small tangential stress safety margin at during the manufacturing and the edge effect could explain the
overspeed. In fact, rotor M1 crashed during a no-load test failure of M1. Especially axial pressing of the bandage can be
already at a rotational speed of 35000 rpm. According to the very harmful to the carbon fibre material. In case of rotor M1,
calculations above, M1 should have been able to withstand the the carbon fibre sleeve with an undersize of ∆D = 0.24 mm
mechanical stress at that speed. Investigations on the crashed has been axially pressed onto the rotor using a total force of
rotor showed, that the bandage broke along the edge of one 225.6 kN.

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σ t,lim
n = 48.000 rpm, ϑrotor = 150°C
σt,ω rotation
600 σt,th thermal expansion
300 σt,presress prestress at 20°C
1 2
1 2

1: thin shell, isotropic shell

2: FEM calculation, including bending, orthotropic shell
Figure 9. Calculated tangential bandage stress σt of rotor M2

The maximum tangential stress (thin shell) is only

σ t = 491 N/mm2, thus giving a large safety margin to the
Figure 7. Improved rotor M2, nN = 40000 rpm, magnetic levitation bandage stress limit of σ t,max = 1100 N/mm2 and is therefore
fulfilling condition (2). The residual contact pressure at
B. Design of rotor M2 overspeed n = 48000 rpm and 150°C is pc = 13,1 N/mm2 > 0,
which is in accordance to condition (1). As no bending stress
occurs in this design due to the rotational symmetry, these
analytical results are met by FE calculations, which is also
shown in Fig. 9. This rotor has been built and successfully
tested up to rated speed of nN = 40000 rpm. Detailed
information about the performance of this motor is given in
Figure 8. Surface mounted magnet PMSM without inter-pole gap (M2)

To improve the mechanical strength, the second rotor M2 IV. MECHANICAL DESIGN OF BURIED MAGNET HIGH-
experienced some major design changes compared to rotor M1
(Table II). First of all, the inter-pole gap has been avoided
(α e = 100%), as shown in Fig. 8. That means, that the magnets
are evenly distributed along the circumference, thus achieving
rotational symmetry without any edge effect. In this case,
equations (1)...(6) lead to satisfying results, which can be
verified by a FE calculation (Fig. 9). Furthermore, the air gap
has been increased from δM1 = 0.7 mm to δM2 = 3.2 mm in
order to reduce the air friction losses inside the air gap and
hence reduce rotor heating. The magnet height has been Figure 10. PMSM with buried magnets.
reduced from hm,M1 = 7 mm to hm,M2 = 4.5 mm, which is still
providing a sufficient demagnetisation reserve, but reduces the If the permanent magnets are “buried” within the rotor iron,
centrifugal forces acting on the magnets. Due to lower flux the rotor iron itself fixes the magnets (Fig. 10). No carbon or
density an increased current loading is necessary to keep the glass fibre bandage is needed, thus reducing the total air gap
output power unchanged. Reducing the bandage sleeve and the required amount of magnet material. Exact analytical
undersize from ∆DM1 = 0.24 mm to ∆DM2 = 0.13 mm also calculation of the mechanical stress inside the iron sheet is
allowed for a more gentle procedure to mount the bandage difficult, therefore, FE-calculations are recommended [5].
onto the rotor structure. The rotor has been cooled with liquid However, for simple magnet arrangements with buried
nitrogen LN2 to a temperature of –190°C. Due to rotor magnets as shown in Fig. 10, analytical approaches using an
shrinking, the bandage could be mounted onto the rotor equivalent ring arrangement can still give a good estimate
without any axial pressure. Rotor expansion during thermal about the mechanical stress. The magnets are inserted into the
adaptation to room temperature caused the stretching of the slots, so no prestress is given. The outer iron bridge must
bandage and thus the generation of prestress. The carbon fibre withstand its own centrifugal forces and that of the magnets.
material is very strong in terms of tangential stress while being Thermal expansion of iron and magnets is similar, so the
very sensitive to bending forces. As glass fibre composite is temperature influence on stress is small. An analytical
less sensitive to bending stress, a thin layer of glass fibre approach to calculate the mechanical stress on the rotor
bandage has been introduced to the inner layer of the bandage structure is shown in Fig. 11. The centrifugal forces acting on
to withstand bending effects due to segmented magnets. Fig. 9 the magnets and the covering iron bridge are
shows the results of the calculations using (1) ... (7).

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Figure 11. Equivalent ring section with increased mass density representing
the rotating magnet and the iron bridge

transferred to an equivalent ring with an artificially increased

mass density ρequiv [6]. The height of the equivalent ring
section hequiv is chosen to be equal to the narrowest height of
the iron bridge that covers the magnets. First of all, the
increased mass density of the equivalent ring is determined as Figure 12. Typical stress-strain characteristic σ(ε) of iron material

Amagnet + AFe,o
ρ equiv = ρ Fe ⋅ . (8)

Both the masses of the magnet and the iron that covers the
magnet are transformed into the equivalent ring. Thereby it is
assured, that the equivalent ring suffers from the same
centrifugal forces as the original arrangement. With the outer
and inner radii of the equivalent ring requiv,o and requiv,i, the Figure 13. Equivalent rotor design to M2 using buried magnets. No-load field
plot with neglected stator slotting.
tangential stress inside the equivalent ring under rotation at
overspeed can be determined as So, the maximum permissible stress inside the rotor iron is
 requiv,o + requiv,i  σ t,max = 2 ⋅ σ equiv < Rp0.2 (11)
σ t,equiv =   ⋅ ω overspeed

⋅ ρ equiv . (9)
 2  A. Example for the calculation of the mechanical strength of
a buried magnet rotor
So far the calculation does not pay attention to local peak To compare the mechanical behaviour of surface mounted
stress caused be the uneven distribution of the magnets and the and buried magnet PMSM, an alternative design to the
shape of the magnet edges. By designing round shaped slot previously discussed surface mounted magnet PMSM (rotor
edges, the increase of stress at these edges caused by the notch M2) is considered (Fig. 13). In order to obtain a comparable
effect can be limited to about 100% (factor 2). Therefore, the design M3, rotor diameter, mechanical air gap and the
maximum mechanical stress is located at the slot edges: fundamental of the air gap flux density are kept unchanged.
The non-linear magnetic circuit including iron saturation has
σ t,max = 2 ⋅ σ t,equiv (10) been designed using Finite Element calculations. The
dimensions of design M3 are listed in Table III. The thickness
The stress-strain characteristic σ(ε) of iron is non-linear as of the iron bridge at the narrowest location is 1.66 mm.
shown in Fig. 12. The maximum tensile stress inside the iron According to the explanations above, this is also the value
must stay below the iron sheet yield strength Rp0.2. A typical chosen for the height of the equivalent ring hequiv. With the
value for Rp0.2, e.g. for M270-35A sheets, is dimensions given in Table III, the cross sectional area of one
Rp0.2 = 450 N/mm2. That means that putting a stress of Rp0.2 to magnet and its covering iron amounts to
the material will lead to a permanent (irreversible) relative
deformation of 0.2 %. This is accepted as permanent Amagnet + AFe,o = 184.5 mm 2 (12)
deformation of the iron sheets and therefore defines the limit
of the stress which can be applied to the material. With special
while the cross sectional area of the equivalent ring section is
high strength materials yield strength can reach values of up to
Rp0,2 = 850 N/mm2 [7]. 2 2 2
Aequiv = π (requiv ,o − requiv ,i ) / 8 = 53.4 mm . (13)

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Rotor M3
rotor outer diameter da 83.6 mm
air gap δ 3.2 mm
magnet height hm 3.6 mm
magnet width bm 25 mm
minimum height of iron bridge 1.66 mm
iron yield strength 450 N/mm2

Hence, the mass density of the equivalent ring section is

Amagnet + AFe,o kg
ρ equiv = ρ Fe = 3.45 ⋅ ρ Fe = 26.9 ⋅ 10 3 . (14)
Aequiv m2

Figure 14. FEM result for v. MISES stress at n = 48000 rpm

Finally, we get a tangential stress inside the equivalent ring
due to rotation at overspeed n = 48000 rpm of
N During the design procedure of high speed electrical
σ t ,equiv = 1141 . (15)
mm 2 machines, special attention needs to be paid to mechanical
design issues. Even though in many cases FE calculations for
Including the effect of the slot shape (10), the total tangential the mechanical strength of the rotor structure are
stress inside the rotor iron at the magnet edges will be recommended, for simple, but realistic rotor structures
σt,max = 2282 N/mm2, which is far higher than the typical yield analytical approaches lead to satisfying results. This holds true
strength of the iron sheet material Rp0,2 = 450 N/mm2 (M270- both for surface mounted as well as for special selected buried
35A). Even with high strength material this value would still magnet type rotors. The fixation of magnets in surface
exceed the yield strength limit. Finite element calculation (Fig. mounted and buried type high speed permanent magnet
14) resulted in maximum values for v. MISES stress of 2700 machines is compared for the same motor data, showing that
N/mm2. This value strongly depends on the exact shape of the for high speed operation (e.g. 40000 rpm, 40 kW) surface
slot edges. In Fig. 14, the outer slot edges are shaped with a mounted magnets fixed by a carbon fibre bandage are the
small radius of only 0.5 mm. The maximum stress at the slot better choice, as they incorporate much higher mechanical
edge can be influenced by using a bigger radius at the slot strength, allowing higher maximum speed.
edges (e.g. hm/2).
As the value of the tangential stress clearly exceeds the [1] TENAX FIBRES: Product Properties, Wuppertal, Germany, 1998
yield strength limit Rp0,2 of typical electrical steel sheets, [2] Klohr, M.; Binder, A.: Design of Carbon Fiber Bandages for High
Speed Permanent Magnet Rotors, Proceedings of the Symposium on
equations (8) ... (10) can also be used to determine the Power Electronics and Electrical Drives (SPEEDAM), 11.-14. June
maximum permissible speed of rotor M3. 2002, Ravello, Italy, B7/13 − B7/18
[3] Beitz, W.; Grote, K.-H.: DUBBEL, Taschenbuch für den Maschinenbau,
edition 19, Springer, Berlin, 1997
σ t,equiv,max [4] Binder, A.; Klohr, M.; Schneider, T.: Losses in High Speed Permanent
noverspeed,max = 2 2
(16) Magnet Motor with Magnetic Levitation for 40000/min, 40 kW, Proc. of
r ⋅ ρ equiv ⋅ 4π the 16th Int. Conf. on Electrical Machines (ICEM), 5-8.9.2004, Krakow,
Poland, Vol.1, p. 93-94, (full version 6 pages on CD-ROM)
[5] Lovelace, E.; Jahns, T.; Keim, T.; Lang, J.: Mechanical Design
Using M270-35A sheets and considering the stress increase at Considerations for Conventionally Laminated, High-Speed, Interior PM
the magnet edges, σt,equiv,max will be Rp0,2/2 = 225 N/mm2. So, Synchronous Machine Rotors, IEEE Transactions on Industry
Applications, Vol. 40, No. 3, p. 806 – 812, May/June 2004
for maximum permissible overspeed we get [6] Schätzer, Ch.: Ein Verfahren zur Optimierung bei elektrischen
noverspeed = 21317 rpm, finally giving a maximum rated speed Maschinen mit Hilfe der numerischen Feldberechnung, PhD-Thesis,
of nN = 17764 rpm, which is far less than maximum speed of a Darmstadt University of Technology, Shaker Verlag, 2001
[7] Honda, Y.; Yokote, S.; Higaki, T.; Takeda, Y: Using the Halbach
surface mounted magnet rotor with a carbon fibre bandage. Magnet Array to Develop an Ultrahigh-Speed Spindle Motor for
Machine Tools, IAS Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, October 5-9.
1997, p. 56-60

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