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The Ideal Permanent Magnet: Myths and Realities
Dr. John Ormerod, JOC LLC

Today, the global permanent magnet market is dominated by rare earth magnets based on the Nd2Fe14B phase which account for more than 60 percent of total sales. It is surprising to the casual observer that while NdFeB-based magnets were introduced more than 35 years ago they remain the dominant magnet type despite several shortcomings. In this talk, the top 10 features of the ideal permanent magnet material will be discussed. It is clear that the ideal magnet depends on the detail of the application, industry, market and device details and requirements; a common understanding of this matrix is presented. A high-level view of the permanent magnet market and the key drivers over the next decades will be presented. Also, the meaning and misinterpretation of (BH)max will be discussed. Finally, a summary of contenders for the ideal magnet and probability of commercialization is presented.

 

New Permanent Magnet Materials from the Critical Materials Institute
David Parker, Lead, “Developing Substitutes”, Critical Materials Institute

The present “roster” of technologically useful permanent magnets, including Nd2Fe14B, SmCo, Alnico, and ferrite, has been in existence for several decades now. All these magnets have undergone extensive optimization efforts, thus making the development of new magnets a challenging task. Nevertheless, the U.S. Department of Energy-funded Critical Materials Institute is hard at work developing new, reduced criticality permanent magnets, to serve the ongoing vehicle electrification, power generation and related technological needs.  In this presentation I describe our recent efforts to develop an effective substitute for Nd2Fe14B, transform tetrataenite FeNi from a meteoritic curiosity into an inexpensive, high performing permanent magnet, and to supplement or replace SmCo magnets with alternatives based on the Earth-abundant, less costly Cerium.

 

3D Printing of Magnetic Materials
Kalathur Narasimhan, Vice President, P2Ptechnologies

3D printing has attracted significant attention recently as a technology that allows three dimensional shapes to be formed. Binder jet, ink jet, and printing are popular processes that can compete favorably with injection molding and polymer bonding. Lasers provide a unique opportunity to heat small area of powder, typically 20 to 40 microns, and the melt cools rapidly. The cooling rate is fast enough to form fine grained microstructure. These fine grain microstructure on a nano scale provide unique opportunity to form bulk soft magnetic material useful in AC transformer applications. In the case of hard magnetic materials, this cooling rate allows the opportunity for the formation of nearly single domain grains. In the case of melt spun Neodymium iron boron, selective lase meting (SLM) can be used to make bulk magnet fully dense bodies which otherwise not possible by melt spun ribbons. Ribbons need to be crushed and blended with polymers to shape magnet bodies or hot formed to make dense magnets.

The Great Misconception: The Grade Performance Gap Between Alloy Block and Finished Magnets
John Ebert, Business Manager (Americas), Yunsheng USA

The magnet grade is often the most critical magnetic performance characteristic specified on Neodymium permanent magnet designs.  Yet, it is little-known that the prevailing industry standard (in China) has been based upon the performance characteristics of the alloy block instead of the magnet, itself. This is perhaps the singular, most misunderstood and misinterpreted aspect of magnet performance requirements between producers and designers. We will address the underlying technical reasons for this performance gap between magnet and alloy block, including: production inspection practices, pressing alignment, machining angle tolerances, magnet geometry, magnetic angle of error inspection, among others. Our objective is to dispel this misconception and expand the knowledge base of current and future designers of permanent magnet applications to recognize how to clearly define their specifications with the producers.
 

Rare Earth Magnet Market Outlook to 2030: Post-Pandemic Opportunities and Challenges
Ryan Castilloux, Founder and Managing Director, Adamas Intelligence

This presentation will review the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global supply and demand markets for NdFeB alloys, powders, magnets and the rare earth elements they contain. Thereafter, we will summarize our latest supply, demand and price forecasts from 2020 through 2030 and quantify the unprecedented development needed on the supply-side of the industry over the next decade to keep up with rapidly growing demand for magnet rare earths, including neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium, and terbium.

 

The Rise, Fall and Rise of American NdFeB-Magnets Used in e-Mobility
Peter Afiuny, Executive Vice President, Urban Mining Company

The continuous and strong growth of NdFeB permanent magnets creates a necessity for a development of domestic magnet manufacturing technologies. Two fully functioning processing lines were gained by US via UMC: a pre commercial NdFeB processing line, for prototyping new technology-based products; and a commercial production line, to process and produce grain boundary engineered NdFeB-based magnets. Grain boundary engineering is a revolutionary processing technology of NdFeB magnets that can be used not only for the recycling process but ensures the optimum utilization of rare earths and saves rare earth resources for production of virgin magnets.
 

Combining Soft Magnetic Materials with Advanced Pressing Technologies Supports 3D Magnetic Circuitry
Bud Jones, Vice President of New Technologies and Business Development, Symmco Inc.

Soft Magnetic Composites  (SMC) are iron powder particles encapsulated with an electrically insulated material supporting powder metallurgy compaction into complex shapes. Combining the 3D design with the isotropic material provides three-dimensional magnetic circuit design opportunities. Utilizing advanced pressing technologies designs can support smaller, lighter motors while meeting high efficiency requirements. These materials support net shape production reducing waste, and facilitating assembly enabling cost effective opportunity. Combining pressing process parameters with some of the newest equipment designed to support annealing SMC materials, this presentation will provide magnetic testing data to support design opportunity.  
 

Rare Earth Magnets and Natural Resources
Jinfang Liu, President and COO, Electron Energy Corp.

Rare earth magnets have been playing a critical role in many industries, including national defense, satellite communications, medical instrumentation, oil and gas exploration, renewable energy, electric vehicles, and electronic devices. This presentation will provide an overview of the current status of the rare earth magnet industry; rare earth magnet applications and materials selection; recycling and sustainability concepts; worldwide rare earth natural resources and supply chain risk mitigation strategies.  
 

 

Recycling of NdFeB Magnets by HPMS and Metal Injection Moulding
Dr. Simone Schuster, Research & Development, MIMplus Technologies GmbH & Co. KG

In this session, a novel manufacturing technique for producing complex shaped sintered NdFeB magnets from end-of-life (EOL) magnets is presented. EOL magnets are reprocessed by hydrogen processing of magnet scrap (HPMS) and metal injection moulding (MIM). The magnet powder and organic binder are compounded to a feedstock, which is injected into a mould tool. The so called green part undergoes a debinding and sintering step. After sintering a fully metallic magnet is received. These MIM magnets are combining complex geometries and high energy products. Magnetic properties close to the starting material can be achieved with this method.

New Iron Nitride Soft Magnetic Components
Todd Monson, Principal Member of the Technical Staff, Sandia National Laboratories

The γ’-Fe4N phase of iron nitride can open up new operational regimes in power electronics, transformers of all sizes, and electrical machines. With a magnetization slightly greater than silicon steel and an electrical resistivity several of orders of magnitude higher than electrical steel, iron nitride can increase overall efficiency while maintaining or even improving power density in a wide range of devices. In high frequency applications, such as wide bandgap based power electronics, iron nitride can be used as a new active material in extremely low loss, yet high magnetization, inductor cores.  Approaches to fabricate and implement both bulk and composite iron nitride soft magnetic devices will be discussed.
 

Theory Guided High Performance Permanent Magnets: From Ferrites to Neo
Durga Paudyal, Staff Scientist, Ames Laboratory

The development and deployment of permanent magnets depends on the utilization of suitable magnetic and bonding elements in the anisotropic crystal structures. Theory helps pinpoint which atoms in the structure provide intrinsic permanent magnet properties (magnetization, ferromagnetic transition temperature, and magnetic anisotropy) essential for permanent magnet performance and which atoms can be substituted to lower the usage of critical elements. Additionally, micro-magnetic theory helps to predict extrinsic properties via micro-structure evolution for the development of coercivity, which is another crucial component for permanent magnet performance. This session will provide a few examples of how theory guided the discovery, development, and commercialization of site substituted hexaferrite to rare-earth cobalt to neo magnets applicable in vehicle, wind turbine, and other house hold technologies.


Estimating Complete Hysteresis Loops Using Excel
Stanley Trout, President, Spontaneous Materials

While we might study major hysteresis loops in school, we almost never see them in actual practice, if we work with rare earth permanent magnets. The fundamental problem is the lack of magnetic field, or the high Hci value of the material, depending on how you approach the problem.  But the result is frustrating from either direction.  Based on a very simple model, this presentation will discuss a method for estimating the entire major hysteresis loop of a permanent magnet based on just a few data points.  Curves generated by the model will be compared to real materials.
 

The Use of Foil and Litz Wire in SMPS Transformers
Jacob Campbell, West Coast Magnetics

The push to higher frequencies in SMPS power conversion is often limited by winding loss.  Both copper foil and litz wire windings can be a good choice because, in addition to low winding losses, in many cases, they provide high isolation and can be wound to have low leakage and tight coupling between the primary and secondary.  For purposes of this presentation we examined three transformer types, a step-up transformer, a step-down transformer and a one to one transformer, each wound with different litz wires and different copper thicknesses with the aim of determining which configuration was preferred from a loss and a cost perspective. Since frequency of operation is also an important variable, we also looked at performance at 100 kHz, 200 kHz, and 500 kHz.

 

Precision Measurement of Time-Varying Fields
Philip Keller, Marketing & Product Management, Metrolab Technology SA 

Commercial magnetometers are generally designed to measure stable magnetic fields. The measurement and analysis of time-varying fields has been an afterthought, even though they are central in many commercial applications, such as electric machines and environmental measurements. This session will review recent progress in this area, mostly in the realm of analysis software, as well as some of the challenges that remain.
 

 

Four Easy Steps to Minimize Costs and Maximize Profits in Magnet Applications
Robert Wolf, President, Data Decisions

How much is your competitor paying for the magnets used in their products? Could you charge a premium for your product based upon your magnet cost? If you are looking for a methodology to uncover answers to these questions then consider this session as the introductory discovery process. We’ll begin with magnet chemistry: Alnico, Ferrite, Samarium Cobalt, Neodymium-Iron-Boron. We’ll then dive into choosing a reliable and dependable information source, how to build both cost and price matrices and best practices for charting results.
 



 

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