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Jarred Welsh, BSc. Student 

Metallurgical and Materials Engineering

Yıldız Technical University

Neodymium-Iron-Boron (NdFeB): Advancements, Challenges, and Sustainable Applications in Modern Magnetism

Supervisor: Assoc Prof. Dr. Buğra Çiçek

Neodymium-Iron-Boron (NdFeB), is the most important permanent magnet in today's industries and ever increasing high technological fields. Permanent magnets maintain their magnetic properties in the absence of an inducing field or current. Once a permanent magnet is magnetized, they are good to go and will maintain their magnetic properties near indefinitely. As a result of this unique property, permanent magnets find many uses. NdFeB is a ceramic based permanent magnet and is the most powerful permanent magnet humanity has ever created, able to create a magnetic field up to 1.5 Teslas [1]. This permanent magnet performs flawlessly up to 150°C and below with a curie temperature of 320°C and uses less rare earth materials compared to earlier Samarium-Cobalt (SmCo) permanent magnets. NdFeB permanent magnets are better and cheaper compared to earlier iterations of permanent magnets but nonetheless still quite expensive and difficult to produce. NdFeB is a crucial high technological material and finds uses in many industries, including in magnetic resonance imaging, various electric motors, electrical generators, sensors, hard drives, audio components, and many other uses along with new uses currently in development [2]. Therefore, it is paramount to find better, more efficient, and cheaper ways to produce/manufacture high quality NdFeB permanent magnets. Investigation into the production methods for NdFeB may yield novel production processes that can produce a better and/or cheaper material. Sustainability of NdFeB and Nd is also important. Currently not much Neodymium (Nd) is recycled and some Western countries and organizations, such as the EU and USA, are recommending industries to find ways to efficiently recycle and reuse Nd due to its low abundance in the Earth's crust [3]. Therefore, recycling and reuse of Nd is another important topic to investigate.

[1] Adambukulam, C., Sewani, V.K., Stemp, H.G., Asaad, S., Mądzik, M.T., Morello, A. and Laucht, A., 2021. An ultra-stable 1.5 T permanent magnet assembly for qubit experiments at cryogenic temperatures. Review of Scientific Instruments, 92(8).

[2] Constantinides, S., 2012, September. The demand for rare earth materials in permanent magnets. In 51st Annual Conference of Metallurgists (Vol. 7546, p. 15). 

[3] Chu, S. ed., 2011. United States Department of Energy, Critical Materials Strategy. Department of Energy (DOE), Washington, United States of America.

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