Sunday, December 26, 2010

No. 220: Reduce the usage of dysprosium (December 27, 2010)

Tohoku University developed the technology to reduce the usage of dysprosium in neodymium magnet by 40%. Neodymium magnet is vital to environment-responsive vehicles. Japan currently depends on import from China for nearly all dysprosium consumption. This newly-developed technology is expected to mitigate the tight supply and demand of dysprosium caused by the growing demand for eco-cars. The research team is joined by a total of eight companies including Tohoku University, such as Toyota Motors, TDK, and Intermetallics in Kyoto. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry supported the development. High-performance magnets are for motors for vehicles, information appliances, and air-conditioners. The technology improved magnetic energy by making the size of sintered crystal grains of neodymium smaller, and successfully reduced the usage of dysprosium by improving magnetic energy. The mass production technology is being developed toward 2012. Intermetallics plans to introduce equipment for mass production in alliance with Mitsubishi Corp. that is Intermetallics’ largest shareholder. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is expected to provide subsidy.

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