Researchers use metal AM to accelerate search for cheaper permanent magnets

June 21, 2018

June 21, 2018

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Critical Materials Institute (CMI), operated by Ames Laboratory, Iowa, USA, report that they have used metal Additive Manufacturing to accelerate their search for a permanent magnet material, which could offer a cheaper alternative to more expensive rare-earth neodymium iron boron (NdFeB) magnets for some applications.

The magnetic alloy is composed of cerium – a less expensive and more plentiful rare earth – cobalt, iron and copper. The researchers produced a range of alloy compositions, which were then used to produce additively manufactured samples on a laser powder bed AM system.

Ryan Ott, one of the CMI’s researchers, stated, “This was a known magnet material, but we wanted to revisit it to see if we could find exceptional magnetic properties. With four elements, there is a vast space of compositions to hunt around in. Using 3D printing greatly accelerates the search process.”

While it would have taken multiple weeks to produce these samples using conventional production techniques, the research team reported that using AM enabled the production of a range of magnetic samples in just two hours. The samples with the most promising properties were then identified and a second set of samples produced by conventional casting methods and compared to the originals, confirming the findings of the AM samples.

“It is very challenging to use laser printing to identify potential permanent magnet phases for bulk materials because of the need to develop the necessary microstructure,” added Ikenna Nlebedim, another CMI researcher. “But this research shows that Additive Manufacturing can be used as an effective tool for rapidly and economically identifying promising permanent magnet alloys.”

The Critical Materials Institute is a Department of Energy Innovation Hub and is supported by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office, which supports early-stage research to advance innovation in US manufacturing and promote American economic growth and energy security. CMI seeks ways to eliminate and reduce reliance on rare-earth metals and other materials critical to the success of clean energy technologies.

June 21, 2018

About Metal Additive Manufacturing magazine

Metal AM magazine, published quarterly in digital and print formats, is read by a rapidly expanding international audience.

Our audience includes component manufacturers, end-users, materials and equipment suppliers, analysts, researchers and more.

In addition to providing extensive industry news coverage, Metal AM magazine is known for exclusive, in-depth articles and technical reports.

Our focus is the entire metal AM process from design to application.

Each issue is available as an easy-to-navigate digital edition and a high-quality print publication.

In the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

Download PDF

Extensive AM industry news coverage, as well as the following exclusive deep-dive articles:

  • BMW Group: Laying the foundations for the application of metal Additive Manufacturing in the automotive industry
  • Predicting the metal Additive Manufacturing market – and breaking the hype cycle
  • China’s thriving metal Additive Manufacturing industry: An outsider’s perspective
  • Enhancing the productivity of Additive Manufacturing facilities through PBF-LB automation
  • Award-winning metal AM parts from the MPIF’s 2024 Design Excellence Awards
  • Performance of eddy currents for the in-situ detection of defects during PBF-LB metal AM

The world of metal AM to your inbox

Don't miss any new issue of Metal AM magazine, and get the latest industry news. Sign up to our twice weekly newsletter.

Sign up

Looking for AM machines, metal powders or part manufacturing services?

Discover suppliers of these and more in our comprehensive advertisers’ index and buyer’s guide, available in the back of Metal AM magazine.

  • AM machines
  • Process monitoring & calibration
  • Heat treatment & sintering
  • HIP systems & services
  • Pre- & post-processing technology
  • Powders, powder production and analysis
  • Part manufacturers
  • Consulting, training & market data
View online

Discover our magazine archive…

The free to access Metal Additive Manufacturing magazine archive offers unparalleled insight into the world of metal Additive Manufacturing from a commercial and technological perspective through:

  • Reports on visits to leading metal AM part manufacturers and industry suppliers
  • Articles on technology and application trends
  • Information on materials developments
  • Reviews of key technical presentations from the international conference circuit
  • International industry news

All past issues are available to download as free PDFs or view in your browser.

Browse the archive

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap