The project brought together Europe’s leading experts in sensing, disassembly, recycling technology and materials processing in a multi-disciplinary project able to deliver significant technical advances.
The partners developed new and innovative processes for the recovery and recycling of neodymium iron boron magnets (NdFeB) from a range of waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE).
The aim was to recover material in a form that can easily re-enter the primary magnet manufacturing production route, so providing large energy savings and reduced production costs for European manufacturers.
The project addresses the design and development of nanocrystalline permanent magnets without rare earths, making use of two complementary approaches. The achievements made will be translated to the synthesis of novel hybrid nanostructures based on metals and ferrites in order to combine the complementary magnetic properties of both materials types. Our approach proposes to take advantage of the recent advances in nanoscience to be used in the design of these new permanent magnets.
In terms of practical applications, the improved magnetic performance of these newly designed rare-earth-free permanent magnets will guarantee their use in some modern applications which are currently covered by more expensive low-energy-range rare-earth permanent magnets.
The goal of the project was the development of magnets with properties suitable for application in electric vehicles. New magnets will have high magnetic flux at high temperatures, good resistance to external magnetic fields and good resistance to corrosion.
The project is a part of European Training Network. An intersectoral and interdisciplinary consortium of leading EU universities, research institutes and manufacturers from the automotive and magnet sector trains 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs). The research challenges include the development of hydrogen-based grain-refinement technologies to produce nanograin magnets directly from scrap magnets, the recovery of rare earths from SmCo and NdFeB magnets of motors/generators by ionometallurgical methods, and the design of motors/generators with reusable magnets, where the designs are based on 2D and 3D flux paths as well as non-traditional materials.