maxon expands extreme motor range
Technical advances made by maxon motor while customising a brushless motor for operation in deep oil boreholes are to be rolled out in a new, heavy-duty motor range, designed for the harshest conditions on earth. and beyond.
Already widely used in fields as challenging as space, robotics and Formula 1, maxon accepted the challenge of creating a small motor reliable enough to operate at depths of 5,000m.
The resulting motor, maxon’s award-winning EC22 Heavy Duty, features important refinements to its rotor, winding, magnets and bearings; enabling it to survive temperatures as high as 240°C and operate happily at 200°C and atmospheric pressures from high vacuum to 1,700bar (25,000psi).
The project involved maxon constructing an entirely new testing laboratory, complete with extreme temperature facilities and vibration rigs. Here – and throughout extensive field trials – the 22mm motor was proven to perform despite vibration of up to 25grms, and resist impulse and impact forces of 100G: 50 times those undergone by maxon’s motors in jet fighters and Grand Prix cars.
Moreover, testing while fully submerged in oil revealed its initial 80-watt output rating in air could comfortably be trebled under such conditions, because of vastly improved heat dissipation.
Now, in response to requests from engineers, maxon will incorporate the same modifications into 16mm, 32mm and 42mm versions of the HD motor, covering a broader range of applications. with further developments promised in the near future.
maxon’s senior sales engineer Paul Williams oversaw development of the successful EC22 HD.
He explains: “A lot of engineers were already pushing our motors to the limits of their operating tolerances, so the EC22 HD has opened up new possibilities; not just in oil exploration, but all manner of fields where performance under extreme temperature, pressure or vibration is important.
“Around 50% of our motors include custom specification, and in this case that’s helped us to make real leaps forward in rotor technology and glue-less construction, as well as and other refinements.
“These new motors will make those capabilities available to a wider range of engineers, and will doubtless inform our mainstream production in the future.
“Of course, the story doesn’t stop there. Our challenge now is to go even further, broaden the range and hopefully push on towards 300°C!”