Materials – Rare earth substitute …
An alloy discovered at Oak Ridge National Laboratory holds great promise for permanent magnets as the material retains its magnetic properties at higher temperatures yet contains no rare-earth elements. This finding is significant because while rare-earth-based magnets are critical to alternative energy technologies, mining them is costly and the supply is limited. “During our investigations of alternative materials, we discovered some promising permanent magnet properties in hafnium cobalt boron alloys,” said Orlando Rios, one of the developers. “The performance is enabled by a unique nano-crystalline structure manufactured using industrially scalable processing technologies.” Co-developer Michael McGuire noted that this alloy is competitive with other rare-earth-free permanent magnet materials and can work at significantly higher temperatures than the best rare-earth-containing materials. A patent is pending.
July 14, 2014