ESSIAL ended this summer and the European Commission highlighted the excellent results of the project!
ESSIAL, an ambitious H2020 project
ESSIAL (Electrical Steel Structuring, Insulating and Assembling by means of the Laser Technologies) is a research project funded by the European Commission’s H2020 “Factory of the Future” programme from 2017 to 2022. It aims to use surface texturing and/or laser texturing on soft ferromagnetic materials, such as common electrical steels and special alloys, to improve the performance and functionality of laminated magnetic circuits.
These soft magnetic circuits are becoming crucial in most industrial sectors, as they are key components of industrial electrical machines (transformers, sensors, actuators, motors, generators, etc.). According to various studies, between 2019 and 2029 this market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 8%.
The ESSIAL consortium, composed of research centres and companies covering the entire value chain of soft magnetic materials, has developed innovative laser manufacturing processes to improve the functionality of the materials. Several prototypes have been produced to confirm the added value of ESSIAL’s solutions before a potential mass production.
Euronovia, partner in the ESSIAL project
Thanks to the Hauts-de-France region, Euronovia supported the grant application process of the ESSIAL project coordinated by UniLaSalle Amiens. Euronovia was then involved in the ESSIAL project as a partner in the management support, as well as in the communication and dissemination activities of the project results.
In the final report, the European Commission and the external expert underlined the professionalism of the project management and the good cooperation between the consortium members. Furthermore, they pointed out the quality of the publications (available here), as well as the communication elements, such as the website, the video presenting the final results, or the brochures. The project was also mentioned as a Success Story in an article by Haut-de-France Innovation Développement (HDFID).
On the technical side, the European Commission emphasised the ambition of the ESSIAL project, which has delivered concrete and important results. Indeed, they added that the project had produced “outstanding results with immediate impact or considerable potential“. The large majority of the planned technical activities have been completed and new assembly technologies have been tested and optimised for three main applications. Prototype and demonstrator systems were designed and manufactured.
These various innovations will be of particular interest to manufacturers of electrical equipment and components, as well as to metallurgist specialised in the manufacture of electrical steel coils, sheets and strips. Four results are particularly remarkable:
- A fast laser surface treatment.
- A process and method for manufacturing customised, laser-engraved strips.
- A new hybrid assembly and disassembly technology.
- A technological solution to improve the recyclability of electrical strips.
What’s next for ESSIAL?
Although the project is officially over, some prototype tests are still ongoing and are producing positive results. This raises the question of the future research and innovation activities of the project.
Several possibilities are possible depending on the types of project results:
Some technology building blocks have benefited from significant scientific progress, but are still at a fairly low technology readiness level (TRL). For these, an application to new calls for projects is already envisaged following the publication of the Horizon Europe 2023-2024 work programmes, for example.
Other results, which are more technologically advanced, have already begun to be exploited, such as two patents that will benefit metallurgists in particular.
The European Commission has also suggested some approaches for exploring the exploitation and/or commercialisation of ESSIAL results, such as with the European Dealflow initiative or through the services offered by the Horizon Results Booster.
Last but not least, this project has been an opportunity for the partners to deepen existing relationships, but also to create new ones for future scientific collaborations.
Find out more about the project and its main results by watching the video below or downloading the brochure.