NdFeB/SmCo Dual Material Design for Cost Reduction and Secure Supply
Thomas Franken, Key-Account-Manager Europe, HPMG

Current NdFeB volatility of raw material causes strong fluctuations of magnet prices, making budget calculations for new projects difficult. In addition the forecasted supply gap of PrNd gives on top headache to magnet purchasers. However, history shows that NdFeB and SmCo magnet prices do not move synchronized as the market situation and outlook is unique for each material group. This timely difference in price development opens a possibility to reduce the material costs and supply risk. By designing their devices in such a way that two different permanent magnet materials can be used without affecting the performance of the device, manufacturers can any time choose to use the material giving the lowest costs. NdFeB and SmCo are well known permanent magnet materials, which can be used in this way. Presentation will give insight in historical development and outlook of prices of Nd, Pr, Dy, Sm and Co. Examples are given which NdFeB and SmCo grades can replace each other in various application. Realized savings are shown based on different magnet size, type of manufacturing as f. e. grain boundary diffusion and raw material prices. Recommendations of senseful material selection for new designs will be provided.

Dipl.-Ing. Thomas Franken has worked 17 years as Application Manager in Bosch / TDK Magnet-Technology (BTMT) in Germany and 3 years for Ferro Resources Ltd in Shanghai and Wuhan as Technical Manager. Competence in technical specifications and new item production start. Joined HPMG in 2018.