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Recycled Magnets Successfully Tested in Rotors

Permanent magnets based upon Rare Earths (RE) are critical components in many tech products – some of them key to achieving the green transition like e-vehicles and wind turbines. Magnet demand is expected to increase drastically in the coming years, while supply has come under considerable pressure. The EU is highly dependent on imports, and geopolitical tensions, environmental issues connected to the extraction of these raw materials as well as the lack of a developed European magnet industry pose extensive challenges. 

One of Europe’s strengths lies in its scientific excellence and strong research sector. And scientists have found a solution, that can contribute to alleviating some of the supply pressure: Recycling. However, in today’s competitive market in which performance and quality are key criteria, manufacturers can be skeptical towards secondary material. Rightly so, since waste materials can be highly contaminated, and it is difficult to meet quality requirements through efficient recycling processes. 

In this context, SUSMAGPRO partners have achieved a breakthrough. Magnets produced from secondary material via the patented Hydrogen Processing of Magnet Scrap (HPMS) by project partner University of Birmingham were built into rotors produced by partner ZF. The first test results look very promising, the upcoming second-generation magnets are expected to perform at levels approaching those of conventionally sourced magnets. Through this contribution, partners help to lessen the carbon footprint of a resource that’s vital to both electric mobility and wind power, while still delivering powerful electric performance.