Toyota Develops New Magnet for Electric Motors Aiming to Reduce Use of Critical Rare-Earth Element by adult to 50%

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Toyota City, Japan, Feb 20, 2018―Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) announces that it has grown a world’s first*1 neodymium-reduced, heat-resistant magnet. Neodymium magnets are used in several forms of motors such as a high-output motors found in electrified vehicles, use of that is approaching to boost fast in a future. The new magnet uses significantly rebate neodymium, a rare-earth element*2 (“rare earth”), and can be used in high-temperature conditions.

The newly grown magnet uses no terbium (Tb) or dysprosium (Dy), that are singular earths that are also categorized as vicious materials*3 compulsory for rarely heat-resistant neodymium magnets. A apportionment of a neodymium has been transposed with lanthanum (La) and cerium (Ce), that are low-cost singular earths, shortening a volume of neodymium used in a magnet.

Neodymium plays an critical purpose in progressing high coercivity (the ability to say magnetization) and feverishness resistance. Merely shortening a volume of neodymium and replacing it with lanthanum and cerium formula in a decrease in engine performance. Accordingly, Toyota adopted new technologies that conceal a decrease of coercivity and feverishness resistance, even when neodymium is transposed with lanthanum and cerium, and grown a magnet that has homogeneous levels of feverishness insurgency as progressing neodymium magnets, while shortening a volume of neodymium used by adult to 50 percent.

This new form of magnet is approaching to be useful in expanding use of motors in several areas such as automobiles and robotics, as good as progressing a change between a supply and direct of profitable singular earth resources. Toyota will work to serve raise opening and weigh focus in products while accelerating a growth of mass prolongation technologies, with a aim of achieving early adoption in motors used for several applications, including in automobiles and robotics.

Development of component technologies for motors, inverters, batteries, and other components will need solid investigate and growth in expectation of a future. Toyota positions these technologies as essential for electrified vehicles and will continue creation solid swell in any and each area, while operative to build a substructure that will support a augmenting use of electrified vehicles in a future.

Background of Development of a Nd-reduced, Heat-resistant Magnet

  • It is critical that magnets used in automotive motors and other applications have high coercivity (the ability to say magnetization) even during high temperatures. For this reason, approximately 30 percent of a elements used in magnets are singular earths.
  • When absolute neodymium magnets are used during high temperatures, such as for automotive applications, terbium and dysprosium are generally combined to boost high-temperature coercivity. However, terbium and dysprosium are singular and costly metals found in locations with high geopolitical risks. Because of this, substantial efforts have been done to rise magnets that do not use these metals, and certain formula have been achieved.
  • Production volumes of neodymium are comparatively high among singular earths, yet there are concerns that shortages will rise as electrified vehicles, including hybrid and battery electric vehicles, turn increasingly renouned in a future. Despite this, tiny bid has been done to residence neodymium use.
  • To overcome these issues, Toyota successfully undertook growth of technologies that can both discharge a use of terbium and dysprosium and revoke a volume of neodymium used. Through transformation of neodymium with lanthanum and cerium, that are abounding and low-cost singular earths, high feverishness insurgency can be confirmed and detriment of coercivity minimized.

Use of singular earths in neodymium magnets

Use of singular earths in neodymium magnets

Key Points of Development of a Nd-reduced, Heat-resistant Magnet

The newly grown Nd-reduced, heat-resistant magnet is means to say coercivity even during high temperatures since of a multiple of a following 3 new technologies:

  1. Grain excellence of magnet
  2. Two-layered high-performance pellet surface
  3. Specific alloying ratio of lanthanum and cerium

Development Point 1: Grain excellence of magnet

It is now probable to keep high coercivity during high temperatures by a rebate of a distance of a magnet grains to one-tenth or rebate of those found in compulsory neodymium magnets and a boost of a pellet operation area.

Grain excellence of magnet

Grain excellence of magnet

Development Point 2: Two-layered high-performance pellet surface

In a compulsory neodymium magnet, neodymium is widespread uniformly within a grains of a magnet, and in many cases, a neodymium used is some-more than a compulsory volume to say coercivity. Thus, it is probable to well use neodymium by augmenting a neodymium thoroughness on a aspect of a magnet grains, that is compulsory to boost coercivity, and dwindling a thoroughness in a pellet core. This formula in a rebate of a altogether volume of neodymium used in a new magnet.

Two-layered high-performance pellet surface

Two-layered high-performance pellet surface

Development Point 3: Specific ratio of lanthanum and cerium

If neodymium is simply alloyed with lanthanum and cerium, a opening properties (heat insurgency and coercivity) decrease substantially, complicating a use of light singular earths. As a outcome of a investigate of several alloys, Toyota detected a specific ratio during that lanthanum and cerium, both abounding and low-cost singular earths, can be alloyed so that a decrease of properties is suppressed.

Specific ratio of lanthanum and cerium

Specific ratio of lanthanum and cerium

World’s initial Nd-reduced, heat-resistant magnet grown by concurrently incorporating all 3 technologies

Electron microscope picture and combination investigate mapping image

Electron microscope picture and combination investigate mapping image

Heat insurgency performance

Heat insurgency performance


This investigate and growth beginning was conducted as partial of a “Development of Magnetic Material Technology for High-efficiency Motors for Next-Generation Automobiles” news released by a New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)

Future Efforts

  • The new Nd-reduced, heat-resistant magnet grown during this time not usually eliminates a use of terbium and dysprosium, singular earths compulsory for neodymium magnets that need high feverishness resistance, yet it also reduces a volume of neodymium used. This new magnet is approaching to have a far-reaching operation of applications in motors that need comparatively high outlay such as those compulsory for electrified car expostulate motors and generators, electric energy steering, robots, and several domicile appliances. It will also minister to shortening a risks of a intrusion in supply and direct of singular earths and cost increases.
  • Going forward, Toyota will ensue with serve unsentimental use in mind, perform focus assessments in engine vehicles, and continue researching and building technologies with a aim of low-cost, fast production.
  • Toyota expects that a magnets will be put to use in a motors of electric energy steering for automobiles and other applications in a initial half of a 2020s. Furthermore, a association will commence growth with a aim of unsentimental focus in high-performance electrified car expostulate motors within a subsequent 10 years.


*1As of Jan 2018 (Toyota Motor Corporation)

*2A organisation of 17 elements that have identical properties. Among a singular earths are lanthanum, cerium, neodymium, terbium, and dysprosium. It is probable for several organic materials to perceptible by use of these elements.

*3Metals of that fast supply is politically important, even yet comparatively tiny amounts are benefaction in earth’s membrane or descent is formidable due to technological or mercantile reasons. (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan)

Source: Toyota

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