Mining & Production of Neodymium Magnets

Mining  Production of neodymium magnets

Neodymium is extracted from clays from south China. It is a high-performance magnet with high remanence and coercivity. This metal is also easily recyclable, making mining and production efficient and sustainable. This article will explain the manufacturing and mining methods of neodymium magnetics. Learn more about how the metal is mined and then shaped.

Neodymium is mined from clays that are found in the south of China

Despite its white, silvery color and atomic number 1, neodymium is astonished by its potential. It is used in computers and cell phones, and the most powerful permanent magnet that has ever been created can be found in the Tesla Model 3 motor. The element is not found in its purest form, and it has to be refined in order to be used in magnets used for general-purpose applications. Mined in China and Brazil, neodymium is also employed in laser surgery and cancer treatment.

The area where most of the mining was done is small and uninhabited, with few people living in the area. We passed an old woman riding a motorbike, slowly moving up a mountain road with bamboo in her hand. We were flagged down by an elderly man for an excursion to a town nearby. He seemed unaffected about the pollution from mining.

This material is used in neodymium-iron-boron (NdFeB), magnets. While neodymium isn’t a primary part in the making of powerful magnets, it is an important element. China is the biggest producer of rare earths, accounting for approximately 80 percent of the world’s total supply.

The mining process has resulted in an estimated 38 billion yuan (about $5.35 billion), though only a small fraction of the total amount is spent on cleanup. Experts predict it will take between 50 and 100 years for the environment to heal. The Chinese government will need foreign currency to fund local governments that are facing fiscal stress.

To make neodymium magnet, a mineral high in REEs is mined in the south of China. This is a rare metal and is hard to find in its original state. But it is mined from clays in south of China. This region is extremely efficient in the mining of neodymium. It is profitable for both companies and the environment.

China designated ionic clays in 1991 as a national protection mining mineral. This means that they should be regulated by the central government at every stage of the supply chain. The RE office is responsible for the mid to long-term development of ionic-type RE resources. The government permitted deposits of a limited amount to be mined by collective ownership corporations, while exclusion of private companies from the sector.

However, Chinese authorities recently recognized widespread illegal mining of rare earth elements. This accounts for 30% of China’s production of neodymium that is largely sourced from overseas. Illegal mining poses an issue for China’s rare earth industry. The government has taken steps to address these issues by cracking down on illegal mining activities in China.

Neodymium magnets have a higher coercivity, remanence and energy product

Compared to other permanent magnets neodymium magnets have stronger magnetic properties. Their remanence and coercivity are greater than other kinds. The history of advancements in magnets has shown a gradual increase in higher coercivity. They are also less prone to demagnetization. The hysteresis curve (also called the BH Curve) describes the performance of a magnet materials. The strength of a magnet is determined by the strength of the energy product is.

The magnetism of neodymium magns are what define their character and serve as the basis for comparison and selection. Remanence and coercivity are two of the most crucial properties to be considered when comparing different kinds of magnets. Maximum energy product is the magnetic strength of a magnet’s field. While they have higher coercivity than other magnets, they are less brittle and should not be used without care.

Neodymium magnets are utilized in many applications, including in electronics. They are utilized in computers as well as audio equipment. Magnets are used to move the microphone’s speaker coils when the sound is produced. Neodymium magnets are also used in dental applications, such as miniature Neodymium magnets that hold dentures in place.

The room-temperature intrinsic coercivity of magnets made of neodymium is believed to be the most efficient method for expanding their knee point. High intrinsic coercivity in generators and motors is equivalent to operating temperatures that are high. However there is a trade-off: higher operating temperature requires a larger magnetic field than lower temperature.

High-performance applications will benefit from the remanence, coercivity and energy products that neodymium magnetics offer. Since neodymium is more plentiful than rare earth metals, it is increasingly utilized in magnets. Nd15 Fe77B8 is the most fundamental element of a neodymium alloy. It is typically produced by rapid solidification. This creates thin ribbons of amorphous material which is then chopped into 200 mm particles. These particles are then joined with polyamides and injected-molded into magnets.

The coercivity, remanence and energy product of neodymium-based magnets is comparatively greater than those of other metals. Neodymium B magnets that is more expensive has a higher remanence and coercivity as well as a higher energy product. These properties do not guarantee higher performance. The energy produced by magnets made of neodymium can only be measured using a laboratory of high-quality model.

Neodymium magnets are strong and have a high remanence, high coercivity, and resistance to demagnetization. Additionally, neodymium magnets are very durable and have low temperatures of operation for applications that require heat. Although they aren’t as resistant to heat as Alnico magnets, they don’t lose their remanence nor energy product even when exposed to temperatures that are extremely high.

Neodymium magnets have a higher coercivity and energy product than Ferrite magnets. They can produce an energy product that is around BH M. In addition they are stronger and more durable than the majority of metals. There are a variety of kinds of Neodymium magnets. However, they’re expensive when compared to Ferrite magnets.

They can be recycled

Neodymium is a readily degraded and oxidized metal. Workers are exposed to radioactive gasses during the mining process. In contrast, recycling Neodymium is the process of re-processing the substance in magnets that contain just the elements boron, neo or iron. This is less harmful and energy-intensive than mining. Neodymium, a rare earth metal of high value is utilized in many electronic devices.

While recycling rare earth magnets is technically feasible, it’s not practical for most companies. In 2011, less than one percent of the material was recycled. This is due to financial, technical, and political challenges. However, several organizations are developing more efficient processes to reduce the demand for overseas mining of these metals. If successful, these new recycling methods will decrease the amount of rare earths that are used in manufacturing, and contribute to an environmentally sustainable society.

The process of thermal demagnetization is a different option for recycling the neodymium. Rare earth materials lose their magnetic properties around the Curie point which is 176 degrees Fahrenheit. Tools for thermal demagnetizing like Apex demagnetizers, run an alternating current through the magnetic object. In addition, protective shielding sheets can be used to line containers to stop magnets from sticking to ferrous metals in landfills.

Recycling neodymium magnetics is fantastic way to minimize the environmental impact of older electric motors. The Demeter research group has come up with an entirely new electric motors that utilize recycled neodymium magnets. These magnets can be utilized in high-speed rail, wind turbines, as well as electric vehicles. These new designs allow electric cars to address economic and environmental issues.

While some companies have created a commercial process to recycle permanent magnets, it is still in its early stages. The ISR process is organic solvent-free and does not produce acid waste. It is able to recover four REEs (refractory Iron Oxide) and three rare earths, which can be sold in future. It does require grinding and dissolving the material into a fine powder before it can be used again. A secondary byproduct is produced with high purity and is of high quality.

This method is not as effective as manually picking Neodymium magnets off hard drives. Using a shredder is faster but creates a huge mess. A more reliable method is to put the entire hard drive into shredder. Then the neodymium is able to leach with sulfuric acid and be recovered. Researchers have claimed that 99 percent of neodymium will be recovered from this process while the remaining 90 percent is incompatible with the acid.

There are many other sources of neodymium that can be reused. One of these sources is the top-of-the-line Mountain Pass, CA refining complex. Apart from neodymium magnets, there are many other sources, including electric motors, alternators, and hard drives. An entrepreneurial group and a Slovenian scientist in magnetics attended the ALMA International Symposium & Expo 2018. They announced the development of a new method for recovering the scrap metal of neodymium.