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.

Project GloREIA – Towards a Global Rare Earth Industry Association

The project is funded by organization EIT Raw Materials. Within the project an association representing the rare earth industry in Europe or world-wide will be established. Within this association an intelligence network will be build, i.e.; a permanent rare earth magnet association based in Europe. The association will develop an EU-based platform of international experts and stakeholders that will prepare and launch an International Association for Rare Earth Industries (REIA). GloREIA will contribute to novel, circular business models across REE value chains and will also set up and manage a database of life cycle inventories with and for industry members and scientists in the REE field.

Project MaXycle – A novel circular economy for sustainable RE-based magnets

The project is funded by ERA MIN 2 under H2020. The objective of this project is to create a much more environmentally friendly ‘short cycle’ re-processing route achieved by: a) the development of an eco-labelling system for newly produced RE permanent magnets, b) using the highly effective HPMS process by re-processing the extracted materials directly from the NdFeB alloy, c) better treatments to eliminate pre-processing residue, d) upgrading the magnetic properties of EOL NdFeB magnets by tailoring the microstructure and phase composition and e) elaborating the industrial up-scalability, including a thorough life cycle assessment. MaXycle will have a great impact to overcome the issue of low recycling rates suffering from poor collection, high leakages of collected materials and inappropriate interface management between logistics, and mechanical pre-processing and metallurgical metals recovery.

Project: Effective recycling of sludge in the production of Sm2Co17 magnets for the economy without waste

The project is funded Slovenian Research Agency and is carried out in cooperation with Institute Jožef Stefan. The focus of the project is to develop either direct or indirect recycling route of sludge that forms during mechanical shaping of SmCo magnets. Direct route is focusing of reuse of purified SmCo powders left from the sludge. While indirect route is focused on a process hot to obtain metals from the same sludge. This is a step towards a circular economy as one of main goals of today’s European strategy towards critical raw materials. The idea is to find an alternative route that has never been used before to recover material is question.

Project: 3D MAGNET – 3D Printed Polymer Bonded Magnets

The project is founded by Republic of Slovenia, Ministry of Economic Development and Technology and European Regional Development Fund. The focus of the project is to implement the technology of 3D printing in the field of polymer bonded magnets. The introduction of 3D printing using the method of Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) as an alternative technology for the production of polymer bonded magnets is aimed at lowering costs of a small-scale production while preserving good magnetic and mechanical properties, such as those obtainable by injection moulding. The main goals of the research project are to identify: (i) the optimal composition and properties of compound (filament) used for 3D printing of polymer bonded magnets and (ii) the optimal processing parameters of 3D printing, which would give printed polymer bonded magnets characteristics similar to those produced by injection moulding.