Neodymium magnets The most sought after?

Neodymium magnets are currently the strongest type of permanent magnets, which makes them particularly attractive for all kinds of industrial applications

Thanks to its excellent magnetic properties and durability, neodymium remains one of the most sought-after materials among manufacturers of cordless hand tools, pressure motors, electric power steering and loudspeakers. However, the starting material for these magnets is manufactured exclusively in China. For this reason, many companies producing these magnets have recently faced price increases worldwide.

The metals needed for neodymium production are rare earths and China accounts for about 97% of the world's supply. However, some of the mining companies are underperforming or even closing down, increasing the cost of delivering these minerals.

The demand for neodymium magnets for modern systems.

The remanence measuring the strength of a magnetic field is very strong for this type of magnet, reaching all points between 1 and 1.3. In addition, they are so popular because their coercivity is measurable. The term coercive force is used to express the measure of a material's resistance to demagnetisation. In this sense, a neodymium magnet is far superior to a cobalt samarium magnet and allows the manufacture of products that last much longer. In addition, one of the significant advantages is the durability of a neodymium magnet. Such a magnet offers a bending strength of 250 Newton per square millimetre and a compressive strength of 1,100 Newton per square millimetre.

A wide variety of companies rely on neodymium magnets for their durable properties to produce efficient devices in a variety of industries. From mass production technology, to food, to hybrid vehicle engines, as pioneered by Toyota, all rely on rare earths to make the magnet technologies used in products.

China is known to have around 99 million tonnes of rare earth mineral reserves, production has slowed despite demand from companies around the world. In September 2017, it was widely reported that neodymium prices had almost doubled compared to the previous 12 months. With a price of $95/kg for neodymium and terbium, another magnetic element costing six times the price, the cost of these important rare earths has never been higher.

Chinese mining companies have pointed out that production costs have recently led to higher prices for these minerals. However, the problem is partly due to the fact that Chinese authorities closed or suspended some mining operations for environmental reasons. With less material on the market, demand for neodymium has outstripped supply, leading to a massive increase in prices for the material in demand. If production does not increase, ore costs will remain high, making it one of the most desirable materials in the world.

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact IMA. We are happy to provide you with more information.

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