Australian Strategic Materials’ (ASX: ASM) Ziron Tech team in Korea has successfully produced 200kg of FeNd, a key rare earth alloy used to produce sintered permanent magnets (via powder metallurgy).
Sintered rare earth permanent magnets have high magnetic strength and heat resistance and are essential for advanced and clean technologies including electric vehicles.
The FeNd alloy was produced using ASM’s low energy metallisation process and has significant environmental advantages over the industry standard process.
ASM Managing Director, David Woodall, said the 200kg of FeNd alloy will be used in the production of rare earth permanent magnets in partnership with the Korea Institute for Rare Metals (KIRAM), a division of KITECH (the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology). KITECH is a South Korean government research institute which will produce the sample magnets for testing by Korean industry, expected to be complete by the end of the year.
The FeNd alloy will go into a strip casting process at KIRAM to be converted into NdFeB (iron-neodymium-boron) magnet alloy powder. This powder will then be subjected to assay and magnetic strength testing to determine product acceptability.
The successful production of the key FeNd alloy, which is essential in the production of permanent magnets, is another significant milestone in ASM’s “mine to manufacturing” strategy,” Mr Woodall said.
“We are looking forward to seeing the progress of KITECH’s permanent magnet production run, as Korea continues to secure its supply chain to provide stability, security, and sustainability for its vital new technology manufacturing sector. This is strongly aligned with ASM’s strategy.”
“With partners, Dongkuk R&S, we are progressing the design and construction of our 250kg per day continuous metal plant in Korea (as announced on 2 November 2020). We expect to see the first phase of commercial operation within four months. This will represent the start of ASM’s metal business, which should prove very exciting for our shareholders.”