lundi 12 novembre 2012

High performance magnets: which properties? which prospects?

CESA 2012 abstract
High performance permanent magnets are a vital component of today’s clean energy technologies (e.g. hybrid vehicles, wind turbines) as well as many consumer appliances and accessories. The recent pricing pressure on the raw materials of rare earth based magnets, owing to the near monopoly of Chinese production of rare earth metals, has driven renewed interest in the study of permanent magnets.
In this paper we will recall the fundamentals of permanent magnetism, and outline the essential link between extrinsic properties and microstructure. We will describe the evolution in the properties of permanent magnets over the last century, linking the spectacular improvements achieved with the discovery of new phases and the development of improved processing.
We will explain the present dependence on the use of heavy rare earth elements such as Dy and Tb, in the production of Nd-Fe-B based magnets suitable for operation at the relatively high working temperatures of the motors and generators used in clean energy conversion (below 180°C).
We will discuss prospects for the development of heavy rare earth free Nd-Fe-B magnets, based on recent results from literature, and our own work on model thick film structures.
Finally, we will outline expected future developments of both rare earth containing and rare earth free high performance permanent magnets.

By Dr. Nora Dempsey, CNRS Grenoble.

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