Success in producing a completely rare-earth free FeNi magnet

November 18, 2015, Tohoku University
A meteoroid. Credit: NASA, ESA, M.A. Garlick (space-art.co.uk), University of Warwick, and University of Cambridge.

Researchers from Tohoku University in Japan have succeeded in producing a completely rare-earth free high-quality FeNi magnet. The team, led by Professor Akihiro Makino as principal investigator are supported by a MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan) project entitled, "Ultra-low Core Loss Magnetic Material Technology Area," under the framework of the "Tohoku Innovative Materials Technology Initiatives for Reconstruction."

Currently high quality magnets, which are used in various applications such as automobiles, household appliances, medical equipment etc. are made up of rare earth elements [Sm (samarium), Nd (neodymium), Dy (dysprosium) etc.]. Although the birthplace of these magnets is Japan, regulations for importing rare earth elements have become too political.

Now, it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain industrial superiority and competitiveness in the production of energy-saving technologies for next generation of electrical machines/devices. Thus, the development of new and innovative technologies for the production of highly functional magnets free from rare earth elements are most important and urgent issues, not only in Japan but all over the world.

It had been widely-known in the 1960s that small amounts of Fe-Ni magnets are included in natural meteorites (in an extreme equilibrium state) produced in the universe at an extremely slow cooling period of billions of years. And it had been impossible to produce artificially in a short time due to extremely slow diffusion rate of elements around the formation temperature.

But now, Makino's research group has succeeded in producing the magnet by utilizing high atomic diffusivity at low temperatures, when crystallizing from amorphous state. The effect is like travelling in a time-machine, ie. the time scale for the formation of a magnet is reduced from billions of years to just a couple days.

Explore further: Toshiba develops dysprosium-free samarium-cobalt magnet to replace heat-resistant neodymium magnet

More information: Akihiro Makino et al. Artificially produced rare-earth free cosmic magnet, Scientific Reports (2015). DOI: 10.1038/srep16627

Related Stories

New CMI process recycles magnets from factory floor

June 30, 2015

A new recycling method developed by scientists at the Critical Materials Institute, a U.S. Department of Energy Innovation Hub led by the Ames Laboratory, recovers valuable rare-earth magnetic material from manufacturing ...

Recycling permanent magnets in one go

September 2, 2015

Electric motors or wind turbines are driven by powerful permanent magnets. The most powerful ones are based on the rare earth elements neodymium and dysprosium. In future, a new process route realized by Fraunhofer researchers ...

Simple separation process for neodymium and dysprosium

June 9, 2015

Rare-earth metals are critical components of electronic materials and permanent magnets. Recycling of consumer products is a promising source for these rare commodities. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, American scientists ...

Recommended for you

Using bacteria to create a water filter that kills bacteria

January 18, 2019

More than one in 10 people in the world lack basic drinking water access, and by 2025, half of the world's population will be living in water-stressed areas, which is why access to clean water is one of the National Academy ...

Hand-knitted molecules

January 18, 2019

Molecules are usually formed in reaction vessels or laboratory flasks. An Empa research team has now succeeded in producing molecules between two microscopically small, movable gold tips – in a sense as a "hand-knitted" ...

Artificially produced cells communicate with each other

January 18, 2019

Friedrich Simmel and Aurore Dupin, researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), have for the first time created artificial cell assemblies that can communicate with each other. The cells, separated by fatty membranes, ...

This computer program makes pharma patents airtight

January 17, 2019

Routes to making life-saving medications and other pharmaceutical compounds are among the most carefully protected trade secrets in global industry. Building on recent work programming computers to identify synthetic pathways ...

3-D culturing hepatocytes on a liver-on-a-chip device

January 17, 2019

Liver-on-a-chip cell culture devices are attractive biomimetic models in drug discovery, toxicology and tissue engineering research. To maintain specific liver cell functions on a chip in the lab, adequate cell types and ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.