An electrical machine exhibiting reduced friction and windage losses is disclosed. The electrical machine includes a stator and a rotor assembly configured to rotate relative to the stator, wherein the rotor assembly comprises a rotor core including a plurality of salient rotor poles that are spaced apart from one another around an inner hub such that an interpolar gap is formed between each adjacent pair of salient rotor poles, with an opening being defined by the rotor core in each interpolar gap. Electrically non-conductive and non-magnetic inserts are positioned in the gaps formed between the salient rotor poles, with each of the inserts including a mating feature formed an axially inner edge thereof that is configured to mate with a respective opening being defined by the rotor core, so as to secure the insert to the rotor core against centrifugal force experienced during rotation of the rotor assembly.
GOVERNMENT LICENSE RIGHTS
 This invention was made with Government support under contract number DE-EE0005573 awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.