What is an Axial Flux Motor?
An axial flux motor is an electromagnet based motor technology that uses pulses of electromagnetic charge to create a rotating force . Axial flux motors are great because they avoid the use of a drive-train altogether. The problem with a drive-train is that it includes a drive-shaft, crankshaft, propeller shaft, and transmission (gearbox). These components connect together and when working use the kinetic pressure between themselves to transfer power as torque. However, the connections cause friction and this friction between components results in a loss of energy. If you look at the image of the gearbox below, you can see how complex and exact the contact surfaces are, but there is still energy loss at each of those contact points.
As mentioned before, an automobile powered by Axial Flux Motor does not have a drive-train. Instead of a single motor in the car that provides torque to each wheel, individual motors are to each wheel. In its simplest form an axial flux motor consists of two disk shaped magnets are located back to back. One of the disks is permanently magnetized and the other is an electromagnetic whose electric charge can fluctuate depending on the electric current provided to it. Both the permanent magnet and the electromagnet have sections of positive and negative. In the diagram below, those sections are red and blue for the permanent magnet, while the charge of the electromagnet disk’s sections are dynamically altered. By timing the electric pulses into the electromagnetic disk, the permanent magnetic disk is is spun.
This works differently than a normal electric motor where the electromagnetic current exists 90 degrees radial to the torque power created, rather than along the axis to the torque.
Axial Motor Patenting
Timeline of Axial Motor Patenting
2,436 patents have been issued with the term “Axial Motor” in the title or bibliographic abstract. Below is a timeline showing the growth.
Who is Developing the Technology?
Axial Flux Motors - Top 50 Patenting Companies
|HONDA MOTOR COMPANY||59|
|TOYOTA MOTOR COMPANY||35|
|SCHAEFFLER TECHNOLOGIES AG & CO KG||22|
|REGAL BELOIT AMERICA INC||19|
|GENERAL MOTOR COMPANY||18|
|HYUNDAI MOTOR COMPANY||18|
|MINEBEA CO LTD||16|
|JOHNSON ELECTRIC SA||15|
|BENDIX COMMERCIAL VEHICLE SYSTEMS LLC||15|
|ZF FRIEDRICHSHAFEN AG||15|
|MILWAUKEE ELECTRIC TOOL CORPORATION||15|
|HAMILTON SUNDSTRAND CORPORATION||14|
|NISSAN MOTOR COMPANY||14|
|SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS COMPANY||13|
|FUJITSU GENERAL LIMITED||13|
|HITACHI AUTOMOTIVE SYSTEMS LTD||12|
|HYDRO-GEAR LIMITED PARTNERSHIP||11|
|EBM-PAPST MULFINGEN GMBH & CO KG||11|
|BAKER HUGHES HOLDINGS LLC||10|
|ASMO CO LTD||10|
|CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA||9|
|HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL INC||9|
|INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH INSTITUTE||9|
|JOHNSON ELECTRIC INTERNATIONAL AG||9|
|KIA MOTORS CORPORATION||9|
|THK CO LTD||8|
|SUNONWEALTH ELECTRIC MACHINE INDUSTRY CO LTD||8|
|AISIN AW CO LTD||8|
|HARMONIC DRIVE SYSTEMS INC||8|
|KOBE STEEL LTD||7|
|THE BOEING COMPANY||7|
|ILLINOIS TOOL WORKS||7|