Techno-economic Assessment of a Novel SmCo Permanent Magnet Manufacturing Method

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Zhou, Xiaoyu
Huang, Aihua
Cui, Baozhi
Sutherland, John W.
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Iowa State University Digital Repository, Ames IA (United States)
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Ames National Laboratory

Ames National Laboratory is a government-owned, contractor-operated national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), operated by and located on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

For more than 70 years, the Ames National Laboratory has successfully partnered with Iowa State University, and is unique among the 17 DOE laboratories in that it is physically located on the campus of a major research university. Many of the scientists and administrators at the Laboratory also hold faculty positions at the University and the Laboratory has access to both undergraduate and graduate student talent.

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Rare earth elements (REEs) are becoming ever more important and broadly used in rare earth permanent magnets (REPMs) for electric vehicles, wind turbines, cell phones, etc. While neodymium-iron-boron (NdFeB) magnets are very popular, samarium cobalt (SmCo) magnets are increasingly being viewed as an alternative REPM option due their better resistance to corrosion and oxidation. These properties position SmCo for wide use in high temperature and extreme working environments. As is well known, the availability of REEs for many applications is subject to substantial risk owing to the dependence on China for REE containing ores and processing. Though recycling end-of-life (EOL) magnets would help alleviate the supply chain crisis, lowering the failure rate during manufacturing will more effectively utilize the resources that are available. Techno-economic assessments (TEAs) were performed for a traditional and a novel process to manufacture SmCo magnets. The results show that the novel process is economically feasible and more resistant to the vagaries of market price changes.
This article is published as Zhou, Xiaoyu, Aihua Huang, Baozhi Cui, and John W. Sutherland. "Techno-economic assessment of a novel SmCo permanent magnet manufacturing method." Procedia CIRP 98 (2021): 127-132. DOI: 10.1016/j.procir.2021.01.017. Copyright 2021 The Author(s). Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). Posted with permission. DOE Contract Number(s): [unavailable]