Frank Johnson joined Niron Magnetics, Inc. in March, 2018. Prior to Niron, he worked for 13 years at GE Global Research in Niskayuna, NY as a Materials Scientist in the Ceramics and Metallurgy Technologies organization. Dr. Johnson’s research has focused on magnetic materials used in power generation, distribution, and conversion technologies. This has included permanent magnets used in electrical motors and generators, amorphous and nanocrystalline soft magnetic materials used in electrical transformers and inductors, and magnetocaloric alloys used in magnetic refrigeration systems. Prior to joining GE, he had a joint D.C.I./N.S.F. post-doctoral fellowship in the Metallurgy Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, MD. He earned a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and an M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from M.I.T.
Commercialization of Iron Nitride, a High Performance, Completely Rare Earth Free Permanent Magnet
Niron Magnetics, Inc. is commercializing Iron Nitride, a high performance, completely rare earth free permanent magnet technology. Iron Nitride will act as an economical substitute for several grades of both sintered and bonded NdFeB magnets. Niron’s Iron Nitride technology is based on progress achieved by the University of Minnesota under work supported by the Department of Energy’s Rare Earth Alternatives in Critical Technologies ARPA-E REACT program. These magnets are based on the α”-Fe16N2 compound which has high saturation magnetization and a moderate magnetocrystalline anisotropy due to a tetragonal crystal structure. Iron Nitride is manufactured from low-cost, non-critical elemental components. The unique characteristics of Iron Nitride include a magnetic strength higher than most grades of NdFeB permanent magnets. Test data also indicates that iron nitride exhibits superior temperature stability when compared to NdFeB. Niron’s magnets are positioned to substitute for NdFeB in applications such as motors with high torque output.