Sintered neodymium-iron-boron (Nd-Fe-B) magnets are the most powerful commercialized permanent magnets available today, with maximum energy product ranging from 26 MGOe to 52 MGOe. Nd-Fe-B is the third generation of permanent magnet developed in the 1980s. It has a combination of very high remanence and coercivity, and comes with a wide range of grades, sizes and shapes. With its excellent magnetic characteristics, abundant raw material and relatively low prices, Nd-Fe-B offers more flexibility in designing of new or replace the traditional magnet materials such as ceramic, Alnico and Sm-Co to achieve high efficiency, low cost and more compact devices.
A powder metallurgy process is used in producing sintered Nd-Fe-B magnets. Although sintered Nd-Fe-B is mechanically stronger than Sm-Co magnets and less brittle than other magnets, it should not be used as structural component. Selection of Nd-Fe-B is limited by temperature due to its irreversible loss and moderately high reversible temperature coefficient of Br and Hci. The maximum application temperature is 200 °C for high coercivity grades. Nd-Fe-B magnets are more prone to oxidation than any other magnet alloys. If Nd-Fe-B magnet is to be exposed to humidity, chemically aggressive media such as acids, alkaline solutions salts and harmful gases, coating is recommended. It is not recommended in a hydrogen atmosphere.
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