Ferrite is a name for a mixed crystal that consists almost entirely of iron and a small proportion of carbon. It occurs as a structural component, i.e. as part of the structural composition of steel and cast iron. An essential feature is its special atomic structure. This gives it certain properties, such as a relatively low hardness, increased susceptibility to rust and magnetizability.

In metallography, the atomic structure is referred to as a phase, one of several possible modifications of iron. In the case of ferrite, the iron atoms are arranged in a space-centered cubic lattice. If you imagine a cube, there is an atom at each of the eight corners and a ninth in the middle of the cube. The ferrite also contains a small proportion, up to 0.02 percent, of carbon atoms.

Ferrite is ferromagnetic. This means that the magnetic moments – also called elementary magnets in colloquial language – are arranged parallel to an externally applied magnetic field. The ferrite becomes magnetic under the influence of a magnetic field. Therefore, components that contain ferrite are not suitable for applications with magnetic fields. Magnetic resonance tomography (MRT), for example, is based on detecting fine magnetic resonance signals in a strong external magnetic field in order to calculate a three-dimensional image of the examined object. Even with mine and bomb detection devices, it is essential for their functionality that the magnetic fields are not disturbed.

For such applications, ferrite-free components are used that do not impair the magnetic fields. For this reason, PTM mechatronics also offers its radial piston motor in a ferrite-free version. Instead of steel, screws made from non-magnetic materials are used. Other components consist of plastic or porcelain, for example.

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