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Ferrites for linear applications

The properties of magnetic ferrites have been continuously improved during recent years, chiefly because of the increased understanding of the nature of magnetization processes
E. C. Snelling Mulilard Research Laboratories
During the 25 years since the introduction of ferrites on an industrial scale the magnetically soft ferrites have remained by far the largest class in terms of weight of material manufactured. It is difficult to estimate the current annual world production of soft ferrites but it certainly exceeds 25 000 tonnes or about 600 million cores (excluding small extrusions and other very small pieces). This quantity consists mainly of inductor and transformer cores for telecommunication, and deflection yokes and line-scanning transformer cores for television receivers. Soft ferrites have a cubic crystal structure analogous to the mineral spinel.4 The general formula is MeFe2O4, where Me usually represents one or more of the divalent - transition metals Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, and Zn. Other ;--divalent metals can also be used and it is possible to replace some or all of the trivalent iron ions with other The physical nature of linear ferrites trivalent metals. It is even possible to replace the oxygen composed of Ferrites are magnetic ceramics usually (with sulfur or selenium for example), but so far this has oxides of iron and other metals. Many different composinot led to useful materials. In practice almost all the tions have been developed to meet the requirements of a linear ferrite applications are covered by mixed ferrites wide range of applications. In addition to the magnetiin which Me is either Mn + Zn or Ni + Zn. These two cally soft linear ferrites considered in this article, ferrites basic compositions will be referred to as MnZn and NiZn have long been established as materials for microwave ferrites respectively. In each case the proportion of zinc devices, for data storage in computer memories, and for may be adjusted to provide the best match between the the manufacture of high-coercivity permanent magnets. properties and the application requirements. However, the main target of the original developments'-3 Although single-crystal specimens may bfi~pepared was a magnetically soft ceramic-that is, a material for research purposes and have even been introduced on having high permeability and low losses combined with a commercial basis for special applications such as lowhigh electrical resistivity for use as a core material for wear recording heads,5 virtually all manufactured soft inductors and transformers. This class of material is ferrites are polycrystalline. They are prepared by proreferred to as linear or magnetically soft ferrite. This two-part tutorial article describes properties and applications of magnetically soft ferrites. These materials, which are characterized by high permeability and low losses, are used in very large quantities as cores for inductors and transformers. This first installment provides an elementary introduction to the processes of magnetization in ferrites. It also includes a survey of available grades and a summary of the technical properties of typical modern ferrites. Part 1I, to appear in February, reviews the main applications, describing how the material properties and performance requirements come together in the design of the device.
42 IEEE spectrum JANUARY 1972

0) Oxygen (anions)

* Cation on tetrahedral site *Cation on octahedral site FIGURE 1. Small element of the spinel unit cell showing a tetrahedral site(A) and adjacent octahedral site(B).

now substantially composed of ferrite spinel, is milled, mixed with a small proportion of binder, and granulated into a readily flowing powder. This powder is then formed into the required shape, usually by pressing in a die or, after plasticization, by extrusion. After drying, the piece parts|are sintered at about 1250C. During this process _/ the grains grow and the material is densified to a hard, black, polycrystalline ceramic. Technically useful properties can be achieved only by careful control of the composition and microstructure,7'8 which in turn means control of the powder technology and of the temperature and atmosphere during sintering. The grains, which in a typical ferrite have an average size between about 1 and 20 ,m, are imperfect single crystals of spinel ferrite. The ideal spinel structure consists of two interlaced face-centered cubic sublattices of metal ions (cations). In one sublattice the cations are surrounded by a tetrahedral arrangement of oxygen ions
(anions) and in the other the arrangement is octahedral.

A small element of the overall lattice, illustrating these two sites, is shown in Fig. 1. It can be seen that all the cations are separated from each other by anions. The FIGURE 2. Idealized arrangement of magnetic domains. oxygen plays an important role in the magnetic behavior of these materials. / \______________________ _> In contrast, let us consider a metal magnetic material such as iron. Here the ions are arranged in a bodycentered cubic formation with no other elements present. __________________________________________ Because of their uncompensated electron spins, the ions \ have a net magnetic moment and interact directly in such a way that the magnetic moments of adjacent ions are held in parallel-aiding alignment. The resultant ordering \ ________________________ _ < is complete over regions that may extend over many thousands of interatomic distances. These regions, which are called domains, thus exhibit spontaneous saturation magnetization. This fully cooperative phenomenon is called ferromagnetism. Returning to the magnetism of ferrites, the cations in the spinel lattice still exhibit the appropriate magnetic moments but the net magnetization is much less. This is because (1) the cations are distributed in a nonmagnetic oxygen matrix and (2) except in rare cases, cation interactions via the intermediate oxygen ions cause the aligncesses similar to those used in the manufacture of other ceramics. The starting composition is formed by mixing ment between cations on the tetrahedral and octahedral sites respectively to be substantially antiparallel. If the the correct proportions of metal oxides or carbonates, sublattices had equal magnetic moments per unit volume, etc., or, as more recently described, by chemical cothe net spontaneous magnetization would be zero and precipitation.6 In the former case milling is required to the material would be classed as antiferromagnetic. In small grain size. The powder is usually obtain sufficiently calcined at about 1000C, and during this process most of magnetic ferrites the sublattice magnetic moments only partially cancel, so there is a resultant spontaneous the solid-state reaction takes place. The resulting material,
Snelling- Ferrites for linear applications

magnetization; this is referred to as ferrimagnetism. In the absence of an applied magnetic field it is energetically favorable for the spontaneous magnetization to break up into domains. The direction of magnetization in adjacent domains differs by 90 or 1800 and the pattern is such that the macroscopic magnetization is initially zero; see Fig. 2. The regions between the domains are called walls. Within the thickness of these walls the direction of the magnetization changes gradually (on an atomic scale) from the direction in one domain to that in the next, as shown in Fig. 3. When a magnetic field is applied, the walls move in such a way that the domains having a component of magnetization in the direction of the applied field expand at the expense of the others and a macroscopic magnetization may be observed. As the applied field strength is increased, the observed magnetization increases until, at saturation, the spontaneous magnetization is aligned with the field throughout the material. From the foregoing discussion of magnetism in ferrite materials it is clear that the available saturation magnetization per unit volume will be much less than for a metal such as iron. This is reflected in the saturation flux density values observed; about 0.5 tesla (5 kilogauss) for MnZn ferrite against about 2 teslas for iron. If the domain walls move readily under the influence of an applied field the observed magnetization Mwill greatly exceed the applied field strength H. Such a material will exhibit a high susceptibility, K (= M/H), and consequently a high permeability, A (= B/H, where B is the flux density). Since one of the desirable characteristics of a soft ferrite is high permeability, the walls must be able to move freely. The most obvious impediment to wall movement would be the resistance to rotation of the magnetization because of constraints within the lattice. Such constraints will arise from preferred directions of magnetization, which are referred to as magnetocrystalline anisotropy. Figure 4 shows the anisotropy energy surface for the lattice of an MnZn ferrite having a positive anisotropy. The length of a radius vector from the origin

to the surface represents the anisotropy energy when the magnetization lies along that direction. In a cubic lattice this anisotropy is generally small and may be minimized by careful adjustment of the composition. If the anisotropy were zero the surface of Fig. 4 would become spherical. Other obstructions to wall movements include lattice imperfections, pores, and grain boundaries, which give rise to discontinuous and irreversible movements that dissipate energy and cause nonlinearity of the fluxdensity/field-strength relation. This is the origin of magnetic hysteresis. If the applied field is sinusoidal, with an amplitude much smaller than the material coercivity, the energy loss caused by hysteresis may be expressed in terms of the resulting phase angle between the flux density and applied field strength. As the amplitude of the latter approaches zero the phase angle attributable to hysteresis tends to zero. The reason is that wall movements, as they become smaller, encounter fewer obstructions and the motion becomes reversible or elastic. However, as the field strength approaches zero some loss mechanisms remain. The phase angle representing this loss tends to a residual value referred to as the residual loss angle; see Fig. 5. At low frequencies this loss is mainly due to thermal fluctuations of the domain magnetization; at high frequencies it is mainly due to the onset of ferrimagnetic resonance. This latter phenomenon is well known in microwave ferrites and is essential to their gyromagnetic properties. It arises from the fact that the spinning electron behaves like a magnetic gyroscope. Thus, when disturbed, it precesses at a frequency determined by the strength of the internal magnetic field that holds it in alignment; see Fig. 6. Application of an external magnetic field, alternating at the precession frequency, causes a resonance to occur. The result is a dispersion of the observed permeability and a rise in losses at frequencies in the vicinity ofthe resonance. For a ferrite having no applied polarizing field the ferrimagnetic resonance frequency is given by1 23 4 X 10M * Hz fies



FIGURE 3. Transition of magnetization direction at a boundary between two domains having opposite magnetizations.

where M,t is the saturation magnetization in A- m-1 and jU is the small-signal permeability at low frequency. The inverse relation between fj. and pt is of particular This very brief and qualitative description of the magnetization processes in ferrites is intended only as an introduction to a survey of the technical parameters by which the properties of linear ferrites are specified. Fuller treatments may be found in the literature; see, for example, Refs. 4,7,9, and 10.
significance in the application of soft ferrites.

Electrical and magnetic parameters The main parameters by which the technical properties of linear ferrites are specified have become standardized partly by usage and partly by the work of Technical Committee 51 of the International Electrotechnical Commission."' Although a number of these parameters are well known in a general sense it will be useful to define them here in the context of ferrite properties. A more extensive treatment may be found in Ref. 12. Initial penmeability. The initial permeability )At is the small-signal value of the permeability. Its value relative to that of vacuum is given by




tropy. The (100) direction is the direction of easy magnetization and the hard directions are (111) and (110).

FIGURE 4. Anisotropy energy surface for an MnZn ferrite having positive aniso-


-lim- H A1oH -0


where go = magnetic constant = 47r X 10-7, and B and H are in teslas and A* m-1 respectively. Because loss mechanisms cause a phase difference between the (sinusoidal) B and H, p, is complex and may be expressed in its real (inductive) and imaginary (loss)


3 s=1s-i (3) where pA' and A.' are the real and imaginary components, respectively, expressed in terms of series elements (analogous to series inductance and resistance). Temperature factor. The temperature factor ap is defined by the following relation: A2 - A

2(02- 01)


where ul and P2 are the permeabilities measured at temperatures 01 and 02 respectively. The permeability is
FIGURE 5. Phase angle a between B and H as a function of signal amplitude.
FIGURE 6. Ferrimagnetic resonance. A-Spinning electron having axis aligned with a static magnetic field H. B-Precession about the resultant field direction when a small perpendicular field h is applied. C-Precession decaying to zero as a result of damping. D-Precession resonance when h is alternating at the precession frequency. ^ C B -D )A


_ -ii

Snelling-Ferrites for linear applications


normally taken to be the real part of the initial permeability. This factor has the property that when it is multiplied by the effective permeability of a gapped core it gives the temperature coefficient of inductance of that core. Disaccommodation factor. When a magnetic material is subjected to a transitory disturbance, which may be of mechanical, magnetic, or thermal origin, the pattern of domains is disturbed and at the cessation of the disturbance the walls do not return to their original positions. In those regions of the material where the direction of spontaneous magnetization has changed there follows a redistribution of some of the cations through the lattice. This results in an increasing anisotropy, so the wall mobility is reduced and the observed permeability falls to a somewhat lower, more stable, value as a function of time. time. For the purpose of specification a standard disturbance is usually adopted. This consists of the application of an alternating field of sufficient strength to saturate the material and then the reduction of the amplitude smoothly to zero. The initial permeability is measured at two time intervals after the cessation of the disturbance. Figure 7 shows the change of initial permeability as a function of time for a typical MnZn ferrite. The disaccommodation factor Dp is defined by

1. Survey of some ferrite grades

Class*: Initial permeability:





Inductors. antenna rods

___ Approximate frequency range: _ Country and manufacturer (trade names In parentheses):
Cofelec (Ferrinox) LTT (Fermalite, Fernilite) RTC, La Radiotechnique-Compelec (Ferroxcube)


200 kHz

__ 100 kHz-2 MHz __ _

TIO, T14, T22 2002, 1004, 2005 3B, 3B3, 3B5, 3B7. 3H1
DIS2, DI,D1S4 D1S3.
N22, N28, N29,

T31. B1O
1005 3D3

~~~~~~~~~~~Germany (Hyperox) Krupp Widia-Fabrik

Siemens A. G. (Siferrit)

M25, M33

Neosid Pemetzrieder K.G.

Steatit-Magnesia (Keraperm) Valvo G.m.b.H.




38, 3B3, 3B5. 367, 3HI

37 3


Holland N. V. Philips (Ferroxcube)

Japan Fuji Electrochemical Co. Ltd.

3B, 3B3, 3B5.

3B7, 3H1

al 2 loglo (t2/tl)



where pu and J.2 are the initial permeabilities measured at times t, and t2, respectively, after the disturbance. Residual loss factor. It has been noted previously that the phase difference between the sinusoidal B and H in a ferrite core tends, at vanishingly small amplitudes, to a finite value called the residual loss angle, di. This is often expressed as a residual loss tangent, tan 5,. Referring
to E~q.

Hitachi Metals Ltd. Nippon Ferrite Ltd.

Sony Corp.

VL-71, VL-74, FQ-2, GP-5, GP-3, GQ-25 SB-S. FB-5

1A. 1B, iC,I F

AL-3, CL-81

TDK Electronics (3),H6 Co. Ltd. 11BHA

tan S,

503, 403, FBI. FBM, FBI, FB2 FB4, FB4A 1-15A,HIA. H;A. QIB. Q2D
Neferrite C, 801 F

' lAs

Tohoku Metal Industries Ltd.

It is convenient in the application of ferAte to inductors to use this quantity normalized with respect to the initial permeability; that is, (tan 8,)/)A. This is called the residual loss factor. When multiplied by the effective permeability of a gapped core it gives the value of the residual loss tangent of that core. Hysteresis coefficient. The phase angle between B and H due- to hysteresis (see Fig. 5) is designated &ih and is often expressed as the hysteresis loss tangent, tan ah. To a first approximation this quantity is proportional to

Super Neferrite C

United Kingdom Aladdin Components Ltd. ITT Components Group Mullard Ltd. (Ferroxcube)
Neosid Ltd.

SA502, SA503,

SA401. SA403

Siemenys UK. Ltd. (Siferrit)

SEI Ltd.
United States

N22 N2, N29,

P, Q

P10, F7, F8A

Al, A5, A13

M25. M33


FIGURE 7. Change of initial permeability of a typical MnZn ferrite as a function of elapsed time after disturbance by
a saturating ac field.
0 zc

Allen-Bradley Co. Arnold Engineering Co.

Ferroxcube Corp. (Ferroxcube)

Fair Rite Products Corp.

3B7, 3B9

71, 72, 73

33, 43


Indiana General Co. (Ferramic)

TC9, TC12
C, D, G

Magnetics Inc. National Moldite Co. Inc. Stackpole Carbon Co. (Ceramag)

C24. C26

C5N, C7D,


Time after disturbance. mninutes

0 16

F-112 0. M. Steward Mfg. Co. * As far as is known, classes I to IV are basically MnZn ferrites and V
IeEE spectrum JANUARY 1972




> 1000





x 10-30

< 10

1500-10 000



Wide-band High-B8at applicaand pulse tions, TV and transformers power transformers LF-200 MHz
< 100 kHz

HF wide-band Wide-band and pulse and power transformers transformers

Antenna rods, Inductors, anHF power tenna rods, transHF power formers transformers
500 kHz5 MHz 2-30 MHz



1-300 MHz

100 kHz300 MHz

10-40 MHz

20-60 MHz

> 30 MHz

T4, T6 2003, 2004 3E1, 3E2, 3E3

B30, B42, B50 3001, 3002 3C2, 3C6, 3C8

1101 4A1, 4A3, 4A4

H20 1102 4B1

H30, H32 1122, 1103 4C1, 4C6

H50 1124, 1104 4D1, 4D2

H52, H60 1125, 1105 4E1, 1Z2

DlSl, DlSl1 T26, N30, T37, T38 417, 421 3E1, 3E2, 3E3

C21, C22, C23, C2


E2, E3

E4 F2 M11 606, 612 4B1




503 4A1, 4A3, 4A4

602 4C1, 4C6

704 4D1, 4D2

F40 K12
818 4E1. 1Z2

F100 U17, U60


407, 417 3C2, 3C6, 3C8

3E1, 3E2, 3E3

3C2, 3C6, 3C8

4A1, 4A3, 4A4


4C1, 4C6

4D1, 4D2

4E1, 1Z2

H32, H20, K4
3A, 3B, 4A, 4B, 4C VL-71, VL-74, FB-3, GP-5, GT-7

Li, Q12, B1
L-84, L-85, T-314, QL-400, L-81, QM-051, TH-100, CL-81 L-82

Q33, Q61

SB-5, FB-5, FB-3, YL-7

lA, 1B, 1C, 1F, 2A, 2B, 2C

Qs, Qni, Q5. D1, Ml

MH-81, VH-40, VH-50, VH-100, VH-5OB, VH-150, MH-90, IT-1 VH-200

QM-101, QM-201

204, FBL, FC2, FC4

304, 307




7A1, 6A6

7A2, 6A7

H5C2. H5B. H7A.


H5B2, H5D, HP4000, H 5A,

H7A. H3S, H3V,




K5, QIB, Q2B, K6A, Q5B, Q3C, MSB. M8C, QIE QIC, Q2D, M8L, M9 DIB, Dic,

7A3, KH51, KH72

7A4, KH75


M5. M5C, M5D

4000H, 7000H, 12000H

1300B, 2000B, 3000B



DIE, D3B, D8

250L, 400L

80L, 10OL, 150L




SA500T, SA601, SA611 A7, A8, Al5

T5, T5T T26, N30, T37, T38 T
W-5 AK16, AK20, AK30 72, 73, 74, 75 3B7, 308, 3E2A,
3E3 05, 06

Rl SB700

R2 SB600

R4, R5 SB500

R6, R8

R9 SB300

RIO U17, U60

PlO, F8A

A3, A9, A16 F8B SF2, NW29, NW26 N27

R W-5

B1 F13




F16, F18 NW1O, H32






U17, U60




AK16, AK20, AK30 73, 74 3B7, 3CB


R-02 AK04, AM20

4A6 4A H


63 4D Q2
4E, 4E2, 1Z2

62, 64 4B

40, 4C4
TC4, Q1

61, 65

C, D, G,H, J


PR6200, PR6400, PR6500, 06


N1MM2.C5N, C7B

024, C24H, C24K, 026, 028






P6-21 P6-23 F-220 to XI are basically NiZn ferrites. Exceptions are 1Z2, a hexagonal structure, and AL-3, Cl-81, and YL7, which are NiZn ferrites.
F-124, F-130


P7-23, P7-21

Snelling-Ferrites for linear applications

H and B and, for the same reason that was given in the case of residual loss, it is convenient to normalize it with respect to permeability. This gives rise to a hysteresis coefficient nB as proposed by the IEC1 1:

tan ah


where Jir is the relative permeability measured at peak flux density B. Saturation flux density. Saturation flux density Bsat iS an important parameter in high-power applications. It generally refers to the static flux density measured at a standard value of field strength that takes the material well beyond the knee of the B-Hcurve. Power loss density. The power loss density Pm is of prime importance when ferrites are used at higher flux densities. Expressed as the power loss per unit volume, it is usually given as a function of frequency and peak flux density. When quoted as a material parameter it is usual to omit any contribution of eddy-current loss in the ferrite, since this loss depends on the size and shape of the test core. For a given core type one can refer to the total power loss (in watts, for example) and this figure would, of course, include any eddy-current loss. Resistivity. The resistivity p, measured by dc techniques, is usually quoted. Since ferrites are semiconductors, the resistivity falls as the temperature rises. The bulk resistivity is also dependent on frequency, particularly for the MnZn ferrites. This arises from the granular structure. At low frequencies the high-resistivity grain boundaries play a dominant role in determining the bulk resistivity. At high frequencies these boundaries are shunted by their capacitance, so the bulk resistivity approaches the lower values appropriate to the grain interior-10-3 m for a typical MnZn ferrite.

The resistivity is of particular importance in the case of MnZn ferrites because at the higher application frequencies the value often is not high enough to prevent some eddy-current effects. Curie point. The temperature above which the ordering of the domain magnetization breaks down and the material becomes paramagnetic is referred to as the Curie point 0k. The value depends strongly on the proportion of zinc used in the composition and it can be varied in MnZn ferrites from room temperature to 300C. The actual value is usually above 130C. Other parameters. There are, of course, other parameters that may be relevant to soft ferrite applications, such as permeability at high flux densities, permeability in the presence of a static field, and harmonic distortion. However, such data, if given, are usually for guidance only; the control and specification usually depend on some or all of the previously defined parameters.

Survey of compositions and grades Compositions. As stated earlier, virtually all the commercially available linear ferrite materials are either MnZn or NiZn ferrite, and only these compositions will be considered here. Before a brief description of the main characteristics of these compositions is given, perhaps passing reference should be made to the small but growing tendency to use lithium zinc or magnesium manganese ferrite for television deflection yokes. This is because, though magnetically soft, these ferrites have very high resistivities and thus the deflection coils may be wound directly onto the ferrite without additional insulation. MnZn ferrites. Of the two basic compositions under consideration, MnZn ferrites are characterized by having lower residual and hysteresis losses, higher permeabilities, and lower resistivities. The higher the permeability the

I. Typical values of parameters for some grades of soft ferrites

Principal Application Categories Measuring Conditions*
< 10 kHz

Flux Density,
mT < 0.1

LF Inductors

MF Inductors, Antenna Rods



III Wide-Band Pulse Transformers

IV VilI HF InHigh-Fluxductors Density and Power Applications Transformers

1000-3000 350-520 at H=1 70-150


Initial permeability ,i Saturation flux density


1500-10 000 300-500 at H=1 1-10 4-60


350-500 at H=1 10 kHz 100 kHz 1 MHz 10 MHz

< 0.1

-400 at H=1
5-15 10-40

250-420 at H=4 20-50 60-120 1.6t-48

Residual loss factor





Hysteresis coefficient
Power loss density P,m Curie point 0, Temperature factor t, from 5 to 55C


10 kHz 16 kHz < 10 kHz < 10 kHz

1-3 200 < 0.1 < 0.25



mT kA-m10-6 10-6 10-6 10-6 mT'- X 10-

350-490 0-10

140-210 0.5-1.5

200-280 1.0-3.0



C OC t X 10-6

< 10 kHz < 0.25 1-3 2-10 DF from 10 to 100 min 1-20 0.02-0.5 dc 0.5-7 FResistivity p Approx. composition 27 34 27 MnO NiO 20 14 20 ZnO 52 53 53 Fe,0 3 * The measuring temperature is 25C unless otherwise stated. t This low value of hysteresis loss is obtained on specially heat treated nickel zinc ferrites.
Disaccommodation factor


> 103

mo[% .

15 55

32 18 50

IEEE spectrum JANUARY t972

lower the frequency of the ferrimagnetic resonance; see Eq. (1). Since this resonance is accompanied by a large rise in losses and a dispersion of the permeability, it follows that the higher the permeability the lower is the upper limit of the frequency range in which they can be used in applications requiring low loss angles. In practice this means that, as cores for high-Q inductors, the MnZn ferrites are generally restricted to frequencies below about 2 MHz. For some other applications this limit may not apply; for example, wide-band transformers using MnZn





core cross section. NiZn ferrites. In contrast, the NiZn ferrites generally have higher losses and lower permeabilities, but much higher resistivities. It follows from the foregoing discusI1|1 sion that these ferrites find application mainly in high-Q | 1|1 inductors above about 2 MHz. Through the appropriate choice of Ni/Zn ratio these ferrites may be made with initial permeabilities ranging ll from about 2000 to 5. Thus, in practice, a series of grades is available, giving a graduated range of application frequencies from 2 MHz to about 70 MHz respectively. Eddy-current effects are usually negligible at all frequencies in this range. | Application classification. Although there are many of soft ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~grades ferrites currently available, nearly all of

haye passbands extending up to about 200 MHz, provided that the lower limit of the passband lies below the frequency at which the dispersion of the permeability occurs. The application of MnZn ferrite is also somewhat limited by eddy currents. Since the electrical conductivity is not negligible, eddy currents can give rise to significant power loss, and even permeability dispersion, if the frequency or the core cross section, or both, are excessive; the power loss density due to eddy currents is proportional to (Bfd)2/p, where dis the smallest dimension of the
cores may

FIGURE 10, The real (inductive) component. 'and imaginary (loss) component ,u" of the series complex permeability as functions of frequency for typical ferrites.

Field strength H,

FIGURE8. B-H loops of typical MnZnferritesat20C.

FIGURE 9. Initial permeability as a function of temperature for typical ferrites.







Temperature, IC Snelling-Ferrites for linear application

Frequency, hertz


them may be placed into relatively few categories according to the principal application for which they are in-

tended. Manganese zinc ferrites: I. Inductors for frequencies up to about 200 kHz. II. Inductors for a frequency range of about 100 kHz to 2 MHz. Antenna rods for medium- and longwave broadcast bands. III. High-permeability applications-in particular, wide-band transformers (lower cutoff frequency up to about 10 MHz) and low-power pulse transformers. IV. Applications requiring high saturation flux density and low loss at high flux densities-in particular, television-line-scanning transformers, deflection yokes, and power transformers for about 700 Hz to 100 kHz. Nickel zincferrites: V. yL > 1000. Wide-band transformers for about 1 to 300 MHz. Pulse transformers for short-duration pulses. VI. 500 ( ,Uf < 1000. Wide-band transformers for about 5 to 300 MHz. Antenna rods for mediumand long-wave broadcast bands. Power transformers for about 100 kHz to 1 MHz. VII. 150 ( ,Ut < 500. Antenna rods for medium- and long-wave broadcast bands. Power transformers for about 500 kHz to 5 MHz. VIII. 70 K pi < 150. Inductors for about 2 to 20 MHz. Antenna rods for short-wave broadcast bands. Power transformers for about 2 to 30 MHz. IX. 30 ( pA <70. Inductorsforabout 10 to40 MHz. X. 10 ( pA < 30. Inductors for about 20 to 60 MHz. XI. pA < 10. Inductors for frequencies above about

table, some omissions are inevitable and the author apologizes in advance for these.
Table II lists the parameters defined earlier in this article and specifies the usual measuring conditions. Typical values of these parameters, as measured on toroidal samples, are given for five of the more important application categories previously defined, the first four referring to MnZn grades and the fifth referring to an

Typical properties

NiZn grade. The approximate compositions are also indicated. It should be emphasized that material properties are not a very reliable guide to the performance of components made from those materials. The reason is that the core geometry in general influences the homogeneity of the pressed core and its exposure to firing conditions and these in turn affect the properties. Component properties are usually specified as such. Figures 8-12 illustrate a few of the more important relations that characterize the performance of soft ferrites.

FIGURE 12. Power loss density as a function of frequency, with flux density as a parameter, for an MnZn ferrite suitable for high-flux-density applications. 103

30 MHz. A survey has been made of all the principal manufacturers of ferrite components known to the writer and whose data were readily available at the time of writing. With the assistance of the manufacturers, which is gratefully acknowledged, a list of grade numbers has been compiled and arranged in accordance with the foregoing application classification. Grades not primarily intended for any of these applications have been omitted. The result of this survey is shown in Table I. Although great care has been exercised in the preparation of this




. 0E
Z'I 0

FIGURE 11. Residual loss factor as a function of frequency, derived from the data of Fig. 10.f.



106 I

Frequency, hertz


106 10

103 104

Frequency, hertz
IEEE spectrum JANUARY 1972


Individual curves relate to typical grades, the identification numbers referring to the application categories previously defined.

port in this is greatly appreciated. The author would also like to thank Jan van University of Tokyo, Corp., assistance N.Y., and Prof. Saito,der Poel of Ferroxcubefor their Saugerties, in the updating of parts of Table I, and two of his colleagues at Mul-

lard Research Laboratories, David Annis for the preparation of

core, which is well established and capable of further development, will probably not be superseded soon or suddenly. Low-power transformer ferrites. Available permeabiliAvalable Lo-o -rtasfre ties have increased dramatically in recent years and after some consolidation there is no reason why this trend should not continue. Higher permeabilities permit smaller cores and thus lead to higher flux densities. In the case of signal transformers, therefore, the hysteresis will have to be reduced accordingly if harmonic distortion is to be kept down to acceptable levels. Transformer ferrites, being applicable to pulse as well as signal transformers, are less vulnerable than inductor ferrites to competitive technologies. High-power transformer ferrites. The saturation flux densities achieved in high-power transformer ferrites already approach the limits inherent in currently available ferrite compositions. However,' some increases may be . . possible.There ismoescot. possible. ihere1s more scope in the reduction of hysteresis losses at high flux densities. It would also be desirable to increase the resistivity in order to reduce the appreciable eddy-current losses that can occur in large cores at high frequencies. It is important that these imrelat orkin provements reaet to he nilae eprh anicipted okn temeratures ofthe materials.

6. Takada, T., and Kiyama, M., "Preparation of ferrites by wet method," presented at the Internat'l Conf. on Ferrites, Japan, July 1970. 7. Broese van Groenou, A., Bongers, P. F., and Stuyts, A. L., "Magnetism, microstructure and crystal chemistry of spinel ferrites," Mater. Sci. Eng., vol. 3, 1968-69. 8. Ross, E., and Hanke, I., "The microstructure of ferrites with high permeabilities and its influence on magnetic properties," Z. Angew. Phys., vol. 29, pp. 4, 225, 230, 1970. 9. Bozorth, R. M., Ferromagnetism. Princeton, N.J.: Van Nostrand, 1951. 10. Chikazumi, S., Physics of Magnetism. New York: Wiley, 1964. oxide materials and classification of titanium tin. Moereisc11. "General terms," Internat'l ferromagnetic Commission Pub. titanium or tin. More precise composition control will Electrotechnical definition of 125, Geneva, 1961; also Amendment No. 1, 1965. probably result in further improvements. 12. Snelling, E. C., Soft Ferrites, Properties and Applications. However, the future of the ferrite-cored inductor is London: Butterworth, 1969. threatened by a number of competitive technologies,' 13. Stijntjes, T. G. W., Broese van Groenou, A., Pearson, R. F., notably mechanical filters, inductance simulation by Knowles, J. E., and Rankin, P. J., "Magnetic properties and conactive circuits, and the development of communication ductivity of Ti substituted MnZn ferrites," presented at the Internat'l Conf. on Ferrites, Japan, July 1970. systems that avoid the use of critical frequency-selective 14. Matsubara, T., presented at Sugano, I., "Disaccommodation circuits.'5',6 This competition will grow, but the ferrite in MnZn ferrites," Kawai, J., andthe Internat'l Conf. on Ferrites,

Future developments Because the understanding of magnetization processes in ferrites has increased greatly in recent in fi h pro- rl years, n s gressive improvements in properties have resulted. Efforts have been made to optimize the properties in relation to the requirements of specific application areas. In practical terms there have been small but important composition changes, usually by additions or substitutions of metal ions, but the main improvements have come from more advanced manufacturing processes leading to more accurate process control. These trends will continue. Specific areas of improvement will now be considered very briefly for three main classes of application. Inductor ferrites. There will be further decreases in residual loss and hysteresis loss and, in the case of MnZn ferrite, this will make it desirable to further increase the resistivity. In order to utilize the potentially higher values of Q resulting from these improvements, better control of temperature factor (that is, closer tolerances) wil be required and it will be necessary to make further reductions in the disaccommodation factor. Recent reports'3"4 indicate that significant progress toward these objectives is possible by the substitution of some of the iron by

Fig. 1 and Paul Rankin for valuable discussion of the text.


r1. Hilpert, S., "Genetische und Konstitutive Zusammenhange in den magnetischen Eigenschaften bei Ferriten und Eisenoxyden,"
pt. II, p. 246, 1950.
Ber. Deut. Chem. Ges., vol. 42, p. 2248, 1909. 2. Snoek, J. L., New Developments in Magnetic Materials. New York: Elsevier, 1947. 3. Polder, D., "Ferrite materials," Proc. IEE (London), vol. 97,

4. Smit, J., and Wijn, H. P. J., Ferrites. Eindhoven: Philips, 1959. 5. Sugimoto, M., Kobayashi, I., Yamagishi, I., and Ishii, R., "Growth and properties of large manganese zinc ferrite single crystals," presented at the Internat'l Conf. on Ferrites, Japan,

July 1970.

Japan, July 1970. 15. Orchard, H. J., and Sheahan, D. F., "Inductorless bandpass filters," IEEE J. Solid-State Circuits, vol. SC-5, pp. 108-118, June
1970. 16. Moschytz, G. S., "Inductorless filters," IEEE Spectrum, vol. 7,

pp. 30-36, Aug 1970; pp. 63-75, Sept. 1970.

Reprints of this article (No. X72-012) are available to readers. Please use the order form on page 8, which gives information and prices.

University of London and graduated in 1948. He then joined Mullard Research Laboratories, the British constituent of the Philips International research facilities. He first worked on the development of FDM carrier telephony equipment and acquired broad experience in the design of inductors and transformers and their application to communication networks, particularly channeling
equipment. In 1969 he became leader of the Ferrite Applications Section, with responsibility for a wide range of projects concerned with 1969 he published applications of linear ferrites. In the properties and "Soft Ferrites," a book that deals extensively with
the technical properties of these materials and the design of inductors and transformers using ferrite cores. He has also published numerous technical articles and is aFellow of thelInstitution of Electrical

E. C. Snelling studied electrical

engineering at the

Some of the material in this article is based on parts of the author's book, Soft Ferrites, Properties and Applications. The permission of the publisher, Butterworth's of London, is gratefully acknowledged. The manufacturers listed in Table I readily cooperated by supplying details of their ferrite grades and their sup-


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Snelling-Ferrites for linear applications