The Magnetic Materials Revolution of the New Era (Ⅱ)

Explore innovative rare earth alternatives and cutting-edge magnet materials reshaping industries. Discover sustainable motor technology and the future of electromagnetics.

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In the ever-evolving landscape of materials science and technology, the search for innovative alternatives to rare-earth metals continues to gain momentum. As discussed in our previous article, materials like Niron Magnetics and Tetrataenite are challenging the status quo by offering high-performance, cost-effective options for various applications, from electric motors to magnetic actuators.

In this article, we delve deeper into other alternatives to rare earth metals and innovative solutions from different angles. These advancements are not only expanding the possibilities for magnetic materials but also reshaping the future of industries dependent on magnets. Join us on this journey through the world of cutting-edge magnet materials and their transformative potential.


ENEOS: Harnessing Liquid Crystal Materials for Magnetic Breakthroughs

In the pursuit of advanced materials, ENEOS has emerged as a pioneer in the field of liquid crystal materials, a domain traditionally associated with displays and optics. Leveraging their expertise and the computational power of supercomputers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, ENEOS has identified a unique class of high-dielectric liquid crystal materials. These materials have found applications beyond their traditional domains and are providing possibility in the world of magnetic technology.

The Power of High-Dielectric Liquid Crystal Materials

The newfound high-dielectric liquid crystal materials have demonstrated a remarkable power output that is a staggering 1000 times greater than previous models. This breakthrough not only showcases the ingenuity of ENEOS but also opens up exciting possibilities for various industries, particularly in the realm of electromagnetics.

Applications of New Magnet Materials

The potential applications of these groundbreaking magnet materials are vast and varied. One of the most significant areas of impact is in the development of rare-earth-free motors. With growing concerns over the loss of magnetism in neodymium magnets at high temperatures and the environmental challenges associated with rare-earth elements like dysprosium, companies like Nissan are at the forefront of innovation. They have devised techniques to mitigate motor heat and reduce their dependence on rare earths, thus ensuring the sustainability and efficiency of their electric motors.

Aluminum Wire Brushless Motors: A Sustainable Alternative

Another promising development that complements the shift away from traditional magnet materials is the emergence of aluminum wire brushless motors. These motors offer a sustainable and efficient alternative to conventional designs, providing greater energy efficiency and environmental friendliness. This shift aligns with the broader trend toward sustainability in the automotive and industrial sectors.

The Future of Magnets: From Alnico to Dysprosium-Free

The magnet industry has undergone a significant transformation, moving away from traditional materials like Alnico and embracing modern alternatives like dysprosium-free magnets. Research from sources like IEEE Spectrum indicates a promising future for these innovative materials, with their superior magnetic properties and reduced environmental impact. This transition reflects the industry's commitment to sustainable practices and the pursuit of cutting-edge solutions for diverse applications.

Sintered Neodymium Iron Boron Magnets: A Breakthrough for Efficiency

Recent advancements in sintered neodymium iron boron (NdFeB) magnet materials have offered valuable theoretical and experimental support for the application of permanent magnetic materials.

Liu & He (2021) delve into critical issues surrounding the development of grain boundary diffusion techniques and theories in neodymium-iron-boron (Nd-Fe-B) permanent magnetic materials. Researchers have explored the application of various alloys and elements to enhance the performance of these materials, particularly their coercivity. Findings indicate that through grain boundary diffusion processes involving compounds of rare earth elements like dysprosium and terbium, Cu/Al alloys, La/Ce additions, significant improvements in material properties, including magnetic performance and corrosion resistance, can be achieved.

Furthermore, the article addresses the influence of grain size on coercivity and the effects of grain boundary diffusion along different axes. It also highlights the use of various surface coatings such as Al and Cr to enhance the corrosion resistance of permanent magnetic materials.

The Potential of Manganese-Bismuth Alloys

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh, in collaboration with Ames Laboratory and Powdermet Inc., are exploring the potential of manganese-bismuth alloys as substitutes for rare earth metals in permanent magnets. This research holds the promise of revolutionizing the electric vehicle industry by making manufacturing more cost-effective and sustainable, addressing the critical need for environmentally friendly solutions in transportation.

Will magnet technology and alternatives allow people witness motor industry's transformation? Let's see how they define the way we live, work, and move.

LIU Zhongwu, HE Jiayi. Several Issues on the Development of Grain Boundary Diffusion Process for Nd-Fe-B Permanent Magnets. Acta Metallurgica Sinica[J], 2021, 57(9): 1155-1170 DOI:10.11900/0412.1961.2020.00438

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