High Coercivity, Anisotropic, Heavy Rare Earth-Free Nd-Fe-B by Flash Spark Plasma Sintering

Sci Rep. 2017 Sep 11;7(1):11134. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-11660-9.

Abstract

In the drive to reduce the critical Heavy Rare Earth (HRE) content of magnets for green technologies, HRE-free Nd-Fe-B has become an attractive option. HRE is added to Nd-Fe-B to enhance the high temperature performance of the magnets. To produce similar high temperature properties without HRE, a crystallographically textured nanoscale grain structure is ideal; and this conventionally requires expensive "die upset" processing routes. Here, a Flash Spark Plasma Sintering (FSPS) process has been applied to a Dy-free Nd30.0Fe61.8Co5.8Ga0.6Al0.1B0.9 melt spun powder (MQU-F, neo Magnequench). Rapid sinter-forging of a green compact to near theoretical density was achieved during the 10 s process, and therefore represents a quick and efficient means of producing die-upset Nd-Fe-B material. The microstructure of the FSPS samples was investigated by SEM and TEM imaging, and the observations were used to guide the optimisation of the process. The most optimal sample is compared directly to commercially die-upset forged (MQIII-F) material made from the same MQU-F powder. It is shown that the grain size of the FSPS material is halved in comparison to the MQIII-F material, leading to a 14% increase in coercivity (1438 kA m-1) and matched remanence (1.16 T) giving a BHmax of 230 kJ m-3.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't