Korean subsidiary Ziron Tech produced the alloy for 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 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.”
The 200 kilograms 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.
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.”
Planning to build new metal plant
The MD said: “With partners, Dongkuk R&S, we are progressing the design and construction of our 250 kilograms per day continuous metal plant in Korea.
“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.”
Working with KIRAM
ASM is working with KIRAM to produce a strip cast permanent magnet alloy which will be formed and sintered into permanent magnets
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.
ASM shares have been as much as 8% higher to $3.52 intra-day.