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Lets Get Technical NdFeB Neodymium Iron Boron Magnets

Excellent site and resource. Link to full page is below.


An Introduction to Neodymium Magnets

Neodymium Magnets

Neodymium Magnets are made from an alloy containing, amongst others, the elements Neodymium, Iron and Boron (NdFeB). The NdFeB magnets are the strongest type of magnet commercially available and are manufactured in a wide range of shapes, sizes and grades. We offer 47 grades of licensed Neodymium Iron Boron with 25 types of surface /coating finish for each grade.

The NdFeB magnets are anisotropic sintered magnets – the alloy is jet milled to a fine powder and is then compacted in the presence of a magnetic field to give it a preferred direction of magnetisation (making it anisotropic in performance). The NdFeB magnets are then sintered to fuse the powder together before final machining and magnetising produces the completed super strength Neodymium magnet.

The Neodymium magnets are also known as Neo magnets, Neodymium Iron Boron magnets, Neodymium-Iron-Boron magnets, NdBFe magnets, NdFeB magnets, NIB magnets, Super Strength magnets and Rare Earth magnets (please note that SmCo is also called a Rare Earth magnet). NdFeB is called a Rare Earth magnet because the Neodymium is a Rare Earth element, having a value of 60 on the Periodic Table. For note, there is nothing rare about Rare Earth magnets – the required elements are readily available and the NdFeB magnets are produced in several hundreds of tonnes each year.

The Neodymium Iron Boron (NdFeB) magnets were developed just over 25 years ago and were first commercially available in 1984. Neodymium magnets were initially developed for voice coil motors in computer hard disk drives and this market still accounts for over 50 percent of all Neodymium magnets produced. Other applications include high performance motors, brushless DC motors, generators, magnetic separation, magnetic resonance imaging, sensors and loudspeakers. They are becoming increasingly popular across a wide range of novelty products such as fridge magnets and all kinds of magnetically attachable gadgets for retail markets.


http://www.ndfeb-info.com/  for the full Monty on Neodymium magnets.









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“Sustainable Loop” Created for Hard Drives and Neodymium magnet, recycling and reuse.

Marietta Magnetics Is launching and fund-raising to energise an attractive recycle and re-use supply chain.  Today most computer hard drives are shredded as the cost of hand dismantling is not considered worthwhile by major recycles. In addition many ITAD managers use data security as a scare tactic to convince clients to pay for drive recycling.  Marietta Magnetics has changed that dynamic by finding uses for magnets recovered from hard drives and partnering with new ventures that recover the individual rare earth’s and “magnet to magnet” recycling.

These three important pieces of the puzzle make the dismantling of drives economically feasible. Marietta Magnetics tag line ” every magnet re-used is a magnet not mined, refined, made and shipped from China” is compelling.

Recovery of magnets yields about 40% intact with 60% available for the new reprocessing companies in need of raw material.  Intact magnets are sold to Makers and hobbyists (notably woodworkers) and are included in a direct to consumer line of magnetic pick up tools, parts trays and shelves for workshops.  Refiners of Rare Earth Elements (REE) Crush, dissolve and precipitate out the Neodymium and Dysprosium for reuse. The very new “magnet to magnet” start-up has perfected the reprocessing of magnets back into magnets overcoming the problems of nickel plating to create new magnets just as powerful as the original.

All very new and exciting for all of us that clench our teeth and get frustrated every time we hear of REE containing devices being ground up into low value goo and the REE going along for the ride with steel to the nearest mill where it is lost forever.

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Magnetic Sphincter Implant surgery ???

The operation augments the Anti-reflux mechanism (lower esophageal sphincter) by placing a magnetic ring around the lower end of the esophagus.


The ring consists of magnetized titanium beads. At rest the magnetic attraction closes the ring around the esophagus and prevents reflux. During eating the swallow induced forces open the ring and allow the passage of food. Thus the magnetic ring works as magnetic sphincter. In addition, the ring generates a magnetic field, which is known to inhibit inflammation and pain (anti-inflammatory effect of the magnetic field).


Trials are being conducted into feasibility for use in Anal incontinence, Kind of like a Heart Valve only a … Fart Valve……


Magnets are truly Great !

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Of Rule Changes and Rare Metals, racing Formula 1

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There are probably few sports cooler than Formula 1. Nineteen Grands Prix, raced on five continents, 11 Constructors (teams) with 22 Drivers and all 33 are chasing the World Championships.  Perhaps you didn’t know that Formula 1 actually bestows two World Championships each year, one to the Driver and one to the Constructor with the most points.  Points are awarded to Drivers and Constructors for their position at the finish line with 10 points going to the winner, 5 points for second place and so on.  Both driver and constructor who win will have earned that Championship.  Speeding at up to 350kph around the circuit and experiencing forces up to 3.5G in corners in a closed cockpit with an average temperature of 500 Celsius all while maintaining a laser like focus, the physical and mental demands on both driver and car are considerable.  The demands placed on the Formula 1 cars, each built to exacting specifications (the ‘Formula’ in the title) are no less considerable.  This is perhaps more true in 2014 than ever before, as rule changes have greatly changed the Formula the cars must adhere to.  These rule changes also lead to our rare metals connection.

The rule changes are not minor.  They include: a change to a fuel injected 1.6L V6 engine with a maximum 15,000 RPM from a non-fuel injected 2.4L V8 with a max 18,000 RPM, an increase to 8 gears from  7, a cap on the amount of fuel that can be used in a race to 100kg with a maximum 100kg/hour flow rate, and an improved ‘Energy Recovery System’ (ERS).  These last two rule changes have really forced the engine makers to step up their game.  100kg of fuel is about 30% less than what the average F1 car used last season (when there was no cap).  Constructors (and the engine builders) have had to engineer around the loss of a third of their average fuel use, partially by heavily leaning on the ERS.

There are three companies supplying engines this year: Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault.  Each has an ERS that is composed of two units: the ERS-K, which recovers kinetic energy while braking; and the ERS-H, which recovers heat energy from the exhaust gases.  Both units use electrical generators to charge a battery that can then deliver up to an extra 160 bhp (brake horsepower) for up to 33 seconds per lap.  This is an increase over the 2013 specs of 80 bhp for up to 6 seconds per.  I’m sure we can see where the rare metal connection is; both the battery and ERS systems are chock full of our favourite REE elements.

It might be obvious to the ‘gear heads’ (‘petrol heads’ if you’re in the UK) where the good stuff is found in these cars.  For those less automotively inclined, we’ll start with the easy one, lithium ion batteries.  We well know that lithium ion batteries are very energy dense and are readily able to provide a high current when designed to.  The second use is the permanent magnets made with REEs most likely contained in the electric generators attached to each ERS.  Alas, the exact content of the motors is a trade secret; not much information is available on their composition. Stronger magnets (an REE specialty) increase power output and that is exactly what the engine makers, Constructors and Drivers want and need!

This is exciting for a couple of reasons.  The first (and simplest) is it is always great to see rare metals used to push the limits of automotive engineering and it is undeniable that Formula 1 pushes up against that limit.  The second is the implications this has for the technology contained in consumer cars.  Formula 1 is like a competitive R&D lab, the solutions to engineering problems come in the pursuit of a championship but these technologies will be commercialized at some stage.  The tech contained in this year`s crop of F1 cars can cut fuel consumption on the track by 30%, imagine what that could do for those of us who drive on regular old roads!  The savings in fuel costs and CO2 emissions would be significant, to say the least.

While environmental concerns were not the primary rationale behind the rule changes, environmental regulations around consumer vehicles and the technologies these incentivize were.  The thinking of Jean Todt, President of Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, the governing body of Formula 1, is that the competition has to take into account regulations that are affecting vehicle technology.  “What is the pinnacle of motorsport? It’s Formula 1. So Formula 1 has to take into consideration the evolution of the industry, otherwise it may not remain the pinnacle of motorsport“.  So whether you’re whipping around the track in Shanghai at 350kph this weekend, or just cruising around in the sunshine, Rare Metals Matter!

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First rare earth bourse starts trading

China seeks to boost market role in pricing of the strategic minerals

By Bloomberg (China Daily)


REE's Rare Earth Elements

REE’s Rare Earth Elements









China’s first rare earths exchange started trading on Friday as the biggest producer of the elements seeks to increase the role of the free market amid criticism overseas for limiting exports.

Baotou Rare Earth Products Exchange in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region began trading europium oxide, praseodymium-neodymium oxide and cerium oxide, it said in a statement. The daily price movements of the contracts, denominated in yuan and for physical delivery, will be limited to a 6 percent range, except for the debut day, which allows for 15 percent, according to the exchange.

China is bringing exchange trading to rare earths as it consolidates miners and refiners of the group of 17 chemically similar elements used in products from smartphones to helicopter blades and hybrid-car batteries.

The trial comes after the World Trade Organization ruled against the country in the past week, agreeing with the US that limits on its exports violate trade rules.

“China wants to use its mineral resources in a sustainable way that maximizes the interests of all participants,” Peng Bo, an analyst at Huachuang Securities Brokerage Co, said by phone from Shenzhen on Friday. “A vibrant trading platform that helps regulate supply and demand can also deflect foreign criticism of the government’s heavy hand in the industry.”

China accounts for 90 percent of the world’s production of rare earths. A cut mining permits and imposed production and export quotas in 2007 to reduce pollution and conserve supplies. The export controls have soured relations with the world’s major users, including the US and Japan, and spurred investments in Australia, Malaysia and the US.

The opening-reference price of europium oxide was set at 4,000 yuan ($644) a kilogram, praseodymium-neodymium oxide was 320 yuan and cerium oxide 19.5 yuan, according to the Baotou bourse.

Lockheed Martin Corp’s F-35 fighter jet is among weapons that contain neodymium iron-boron magnets made using rare earth material from China, a US Defense Department study in 2011 showed.

China typically releases two export quota batches every year and, from time to time, makes purchases for government stockpiles when prices drop, Peng said.

A dispute-settlement panel at the Geneva-based WTO on Wednesday determined that China didn’t adequately justify imposing export duties and quotas.

The Association of China Rare Earth Industry will study details of the WTO report and evaluate its impact, Chen Zhanheng, a deputy general secretary at the association, said in a text message.

China is trying to promote six companies including Baogang Group and Aluminum Corp of China to lead acquisitions in the rare earth sector, Peng said.

The State Council in January also said it approved in principle Ganzhou city in the eastern province of Jiangxi setting up the largest rare earth group in southern China, under the Ganzhou Rare Earth Group, according to a National Business Daily report.


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Rare earth bets becoming factor in wind turbines

Rare earth bets becoming factor in wind turbine direct-drive generator startup investments


Published on September 23rd, 2011 | Edited by: Peter Wray American ceramics society


Boulder Wind Power, a maker of a direct-drive system with what’s been described as a low-speed permanent magnet generator for utility-scale wind turbines, announced that it had received $35 million in investment venture capital firm NEA and rare-earth producer Molycorp.

Molycorp’s involvement, presumably, is based on its insights to rare-earth markets and what they think will be the long-term role that rare earths will play in permanent magnets. The company had previously said it wants the company to be organized around a “mines-to-magnets” strategy. BWP’s news release says the investment “positions Molycorp to become the ‘preferred provider’ of rare earth magnets and/or alloys for wind generators using Boulder Wind Power’s innovative drivetrain technology.”

But BWP isn’t the only direct-drive startup, so I wondered, why is Molycorp interested in it?

For example Danotek, a high-speed permanent magnet innovator, also has been highly touted and nearly the same time BWP was getting its new investments, Danotek also was receiving a nice venture funding package from GE Energy Services, CMEA Capital, Khosla Ventures and Statoil Hydro.

A story over at the American Wind Energy Association’s blog perhaps provides some explanation about Molycorp’s involvement and how other investors are formulating their bets. The AWEA post contains comments from people involved with both start-ups, including Sandy Butterfield, BWP’s CEO and once the chief engineer for the Wind Technology section of the National Renewable Energy Lab. The payoff paragraphs in the AWEA story are

One of the most distinguishing characteristics of the BWP PMG design is that its magnets are part of an axial flux air core machine which operates at relatively low temperatures and are made with a rare-earth metal called neodymium. More commonly, PMG magnets are part of iron core radial flux machines like Danotek’s, operate at relatively high temperatures and require a rare earth metal called dysprosium.

In very round numbers, Butterfield said, dysprosium sells – in today’s very constrained market dominated by China’s hoarding of its unique rare earth metal supply – for around $1,000 to $2,000 per kilo; neodymium sells for about $100 per kilo and is relatively more common.

Rare earth metal processing techniques used in China, Butterfield said, “are pretty environmentally detrimental. But, he said, “Molycorp has developed a closed loop system that is both efficient and environmentally friendly. Nothing comes out of it and their yield is much better.”

This assures BWP a secure domestic supply of neodymium while other PMG system makers must continue to pursue supplies of dysprosium, which, Butterfield said, “drives the price of high temperature magnets.”

Indeed, Molycorp is pretty overt in how it sizes up its business plans. On its website, the company notes

“While the US currently has no capacity whatsoever for production of NdFeB magnets and intermediate magnet materials (metals and magnet alloys), it does control one of the world’ s largest and richest rare earth deposits at the Mountain Pass, Calif., facility. … [P]lans are in place to bring the facility back into full production over the next couple of years. In addition, with appropriate federal assistance for research and development and capital costs, [Molycorp Minerals] is prepared to move forward to reestablish domestic manufacturing capacity for both intermediate magnet materials and finished NdFeB magnets on an expedited basis.

Butterfield predicts its costs of generating electricity could drop to $0.04 per kilowatt-hour with a PM generator system.

BWP and Danotek aren’t the only players in this field. For example, Siemens offers a low-speed PM system and  ABB has a high-speed PM system and claims on its website, “Our global, long-term supply agreements for magnet material secures capacity, availability and cost control.”




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