Magnetization Response of the Bulk and Supplementary Magnetic Domain Structure in High-Permeability Steel Laminations Visualized In Situ by Neutron Dark-Field Imaging
Industrial transformer cores are composed of stacked high-permeability steel laminations (HPSLs). The performance and degree of efficiency of transformers are directly determined by the magnetic properties of each HPSL. In this article, we show how the neutron dark-field image (DFI) allows for the in situ visualization of the locally resolved response of the bulk and supplementary magnetic domain structures in HPSLs under the influence of externally applied magnetic fields. In particular, we investigate the domain formation and growth along the initial magnetization curve up to the saturated state. For decreasing field, we visualize the recurrence of the hysteretic domain structure down to the remanent state. Additionally, the DFI allows us to derive a correlation between the grain orientation and the corresponding volume and supplementary domain structure. Furthermore, we visualize the influence of the insulation coating, introducing desired tensile stresses on the domain structures. To compare our DFI findings to traditional methods, we perform complementary surface-sensitive magneto-optical Kerr-microscopy investigations.