Sunday, March 6, 2011

No. 256: Synthesize a magnet material without rare earthes (March 7, 2011)

A research team participated by Toda Kogyo and Tohoku University announced that it succeeded in quantity synthesis of a magnet material that does not contain any rare earthes. The material is a fine nitriding iron powder from several tens of nanometers to several hundreds of nanometers in diameter and can be used for the magnet of the motor of electric vehicles. The research team successfully produced this new material using the raw material containing organic substances including iron with the help of an innovative chemical synthetic procedure. According to a professor of Tohoku University, the new material can increase the magnetic force by about 1.6 times. This means it is possible to downsize the motor by about 40% without decreasing the output. Toyota Motors and Honda Motor will cooperate with the team to put the new technology into practical use by 2023. The magnet currently used for the motor of EVs needs neodymium that is one of rare earthes, and it is an urgent and national task to develop an alternative technology to eliminate the necessity of rare earthes.

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