Why Are Neodymium Magnets Getting More Expensive?
Why Are Neodymium Magnets Getting More Expensive?
Neodymium magnets are the strongest kind of rare earth magnet. They are made from an alloy of neodymium and iron.
Neo magnets are graded according to their strength and temperature rating. The "N" number and any letters that follow indicate the temperature rating of the particular magnet.
There's a time when a design using Neodymium magnets actually costs more to produce than one made with Ferrite. This is due to the manufacturing process used to create the magnetic component.
1. Demand Boosted
The demand for Neodymium Magnets has increased dramatically because of their growing use in electronic devices and wind power generators. This increased demand has driven the cost of these magnetic materials up considerably. Adamas Intelligence released a recent report that forecasts that demand for these magnetics will rise at a compound annual rate of 7.5% from 2023 to 2040.
According to the report, the rise in demand for these magnets is primarily due to their increasing use in the automotive industry, which is expected to expand at a rapid pace over the next few years. This rapid growth is expected to push the demand for these magnets higher.
They are also used in a variety of other applications. They are employed in a variety of applications such as metal separators and filters, ionizers and the manufacture of buttons for on/off. Also, they are used in the safety sector and magnetic compasses. They also create magnetic tool belts covers and awnings for machines. They are also used to make jewelry clips and identification badges.
These magnets are made by combining iron, neodymium, and the element boron. They are available in two forms - bonded and sintered. Sintering is a process that produces stronger and more durable magnet, but it's also more expensive than the sintered version.
2. Unexpected Changes
Other factors could also be driving the cost of neodymium magnetic materials. One of the main reasons is the cost of rare earth elements. They are extremely expensive because they are difficult to obtain in large quantities. In the end any event that causes disruptions to supply or changes in supply can cause prices to fluctuate.
Hybrid electric vehicles are another factor. This technology utilizes both an internal combustion engine and a permanent magnet to drive the motor. This is projected to increase the demand for neodymium magnets significantly.
Neodymium magnets are also increasingly being utilized in aerospace applications. They are utilized in air oxygen production systems, flight control systems, and other components of aircraft. Their outstanding magnetic properties are expected to fuel this demand.
Neodymium magnets can also be used for numerous medical applications. They are able to orient iron particles within vascular stents, which help to prevent the formation of clots. They also help treat macula degeneration caused by age and retinitis pigmentosa.
3. Transport Costs
Neodymium iron boron (Neo, NdFeB or NIB) magnets are very robust and are available in many different grades. The strongest is N52 which is the magnet preferred by designers due to the fact that it has a high magnetic strength and is a compact size.
The neodymium business is driven by increasing demand for neodymium areas like wind energy and electric vehicles that require magnets made from neodymium to function correctly. This increased demand is the result of the ongoing effort to replace fossil-fuels with renewable energy sources.
As the demand for neodymium-based magnets grows, so too will the costs for the transportation of them. These magnetic materials are sensitive and should be packed and shipped carefully to avoid damage during transit. In addition, air shipments should be clearly labeled as containing magnetic materials according to FAA regulations. This adds cost to the manufacturer.
Besides these logistical issues in addition, the magnets themselves could be a safety risk when they are transported. Neodymium magnets attract one other from the distance of as much as 2 inches. If the magnets aren't adequately shielded or packaged with adequate padding, this attraction may cause injury to people or damage to property. Magnets can also lose their magnetic properties if exposed to high temperature.
4. Raw Materials
Neodymium magnets may also cause damage to mechanical or electronic devices when they come in contact with them. They are able to magnetize watch edges and screwdriver edges at an even greater distance than other magnets. They also erase magnetic media like floppy disks and credit cards. They also generate sparks when they are chipped and come together, creating the risk of fire.
Another factor that affects the price of Neodymium magnets is the raw material cost. This is especially true for rare-earth minerals such as neodymium and ferrite, which are key components of NdFeB magnets. The Chinese government has been successful in regulating the price of these minerals by decreasing export contingents. This has resulted in an increase in the cost of Neodymium magnetic minerals.
NdFeB Magnets are produced through a process of metalurgical processing that is powdered making use of rubber or steel moulds. The magnets are then sintered or joined. Sintered magnets comprise neodymium, iron boron and micron-sized powders. They are then compacted by isostatic pressure in an inert atmosphere. The resulting magnets are often called neo magnets, neodymium iron or rare earth magnets. Magnets that are bonded are created by binding the magnetic powder using an epoxy resin. This method is commonly used in smaller, lightweight applications.