Friday, October 4, 2013

No. 786: Showa Denko develops a rare-earth-free magnet alloy for industrial robots (October 3, 2013)

Showa Denko developed a magnet alloy that does not need dysprosium for industrial robots. The new magnet alloy will be 30% cheaper than the existing product because it does not need expensive dysprosium, and it will reduce the price of high performance magnets for hybrid vehicles ultimately. Dysprosium is added to magnet alloy to increase its heat resistance. A magnet alloy built in a motor of an industrial robot contains about 3.5% dysprosium on a weight basis. The company successfully established the mass production system of dysprosium-free magnet alloy by changing the crystal architecture through special heat treatment. Dysprosium is 60,000-70,000 yen per kilogram, while iron and neodymium are 100 yen and 10,000 yen per kilogram, respectively. 

The world production of high performance magnets is estimated to be 23,000 tons in 2013, and more than 30% of the world production will be for industrial robots in 2016. Showa Denko is one of the leading producers of high performance magnets with a share of 25% in the world market. The company is developing a magnet alloy with heat resistance equivalent to the magnet alloy that contains 5% dysprosium. 

is scheduled from Nov. 6 to Nov. 9, 2013 in Tokyo

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