TDK developed a rare earth-free highly heat resistant magnet for the first time in the world. The new magnet does not deteriorate its property even at such as high temperature as 130 degrees centigrade. The company succeeded in eliminating the necessity of dysprosium that is very expensive because of limited source of supply: Dysprosium was close to 3,000 dollars per kilogram in 2011 because China is virtually the only source of supply. It improved the structure of materials and heat treatment process, and thereby it successfully made the new product entirely without dysprosium. Because the existing product can stand the heat up to 90 degrees centigrade, it can only be used for motors of hard disc drive. But the new product can be applied to electric power steering of vehicles because it does not deteriorate the property of magnet even at 130 degrees centigrade. The company already started the commercial production for several tons per month.
The market of magnets for industrial purposes is estimated at 100 billion yen worldwide, and Japanese companies, such as TDK, Hitachi Metals, and Shin-Etsu Chemical, have strong presence in the world market. Magnet manufacturers are actively involved in developing magnet with increased heat resistance. A magnet that can stand the heat up to 180 degrees centigrade can be used for motors of electric vehicles.
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