Development status and prospects of rare earth NdFeB materials in 2021
High performance rare earth permanent magnet materials are widely used in low-carbon economic fields such as energy-saving and environmental protection manufacturing industry. As permanent magnet materials are widely used in low-carbon economic fields such as energy-saving and environmental protection manufacturing industry, countries all over the world invest heavily in low-carbon and energy-saving and environmental protection manufacturing industry and promote green products. Countries all over the world invest heavily in low-carbon and energy-saving and environmental protection manufacturing industry and promote green products consumption, so as to promote green products With the rapid development of emerging industries such as new energy vehicles, wind power generation robots and smart manufacturing, the demand for high-performance rare earth permanent magnet materials is expected to grow. With the rapid development of emerging industries, the demand for high-performance rare earth permanent magnet materials is expected to grow.
Nd-Fe-B is the main material of permanent magnet
Permanent magnetic materials, also known as hard magnetic materials, are characterized by high anisotropy field, high coercivity, large hysteresis loop area, and large magnetization field required for magnetization to saturation. After removing the external magnetic field, it can still maintain strong magnetism for a long time.
Permanent magnet materials work in the second quadrant demagnetization part of the hysteresis loop after deep magnetic saturation and magnetization. As an important basic magnetic functional material, it has a wide range of applications. China’s permanent magnet material industry plays an important role in the world. There are not only many enterprises engaged in production and application, but also research work has been in the ascendant.
According to industry practice, sintered Nd-Fe-B permanent magnet magnetic materials with the sum of intrinsic coercivity (kOe) and maximum magnetic energy product (mgoe) greater than 60 belong to high-performance Nd-Fe-B permanent magnetic materials. Coercivity, maximum magnetic energy product, remanence and maximum working temperature are the main parameters to measure the performance of permanent magnet materials. The first three indexes mainly measure the magnetic performance of materials. The higher the value is, the better the performance is. The working temperature measures the temperature resistance of magnets. According to the coercivity, sintered NdFeB magnetic materials can be divided into seven categories: bottom coercivity (n), medium coercivity (m), high coercivity (H), ultra-high coercivity (SH), ultra-high coercivity (Uh), very high coercivity (EH) and very high coercivity (th).
|Grade||Remanence||Coercive Force||Intrinsic Coercive force||Max Energy Product||Max Working Temp.|
|N35||11.4-11.8||1.18-1.28||≥ 10.8||≥ 836||≥ 12||≥ 955||33-36||263-287||80||176|
|N38||11.8-12.3||1.18-1.28||≥ 10.8||≥ 860||≥ 12||≥ 955||36-39||287-310||80||176|
|N40||12.7-12.9||1.27-1.29||≥ 11.0||≥ 876||≥ 12||≥ 955||38-41||303-326||80||176|
|N42||12.9-13.3||1.29-1.33||≥ 10.5||≥ 836||≥ 12||≥ 955||40-43||318-342||80||176|
|N45||13.3-13.8||1.33-1.38||≥ 9.5||≥ 756||≥ 12||≥ 955||43-46||342-366||80||176|
|N48||13.8-14.2||1.38-1.42||≥ 10.5||≥ 835||≥ 12||≥ 955||46-49||366-390||80||176|
|N50||13.8-14.5||1.38-1.45||≥ 10.5||≥ 835||≥ 11||≥ 955||47-51||374-406||80||176|
|N52||14.3-14.8||1.43-1.48||≥ 10.8||≥ 860||≥ 11||≥ 876||50-53||398-422||80||176|
|33M||11.4-11.8||1.14-1.18||≥ 10.3||≥ 820||≥ 14||≥ 1114||31-33||247-263||100||212|
|35M||11.8-12.3||1.18-1.23||≥ 10.8||≥ 860||≥ 14||≥ 1114||33-36||263-287||100||212|
|38M||12.3-12.7||1.23-1.27||≥ 11.0||≥ 876||≥ 14||≥ 1114||38-41||303-326||100||212|
|40M||12.7-12.9||1.27-1.29||≥ 11.4||≥ 907||≥ 14||≥ 1114||38-41||303-326||100||212|
|42M||12.8-13.2||1.28-1.32||≥ 11.6||≥ 923||≥ 14||≥1114||40-43||318-342||100||212|
|45M||13.2-13.8||1.32-1.38||≥ 11.8||≥ 939||≥ 14||≥ 1114||43-46||342-366||100||212|
|48M||13.6-14.0||1.36-1.40||≥ 11.8||≥ 939||≥ 14||≥ 1114||46-49||366-390||100||212|
|50M||14.0-14.5||1.40-1.45||≥ 13.0||≥ 1033||≥ 14||≥ 1114||48-51||382-406||100||212|
|30H||10.8-11.4||1.08-1.14||≥ 10.2||≥ 812||≥ 17||≥ 1353||28-31||223-247||120||248|
|33H||11.4-11.8||1.14-1.18||≥ 10.6||≥ 844||≥ 17||≥ 1353||31-33||247-263||120||248|
|35H||11.8-12.3||1.18-1.28||≥ 11.0||≥ 876||≥ 17||≥ 1353||33-36||263-287||120||248|
|38H||12.3-12.7||1.23-1.27||≥ 11.2||≥ 890||≥ 17||≥ 1353||36-39||287-310||120||248|
|40H||12.7-12.9||1.27-1.29||≥ 11.5||≥ 915||≥ 17||≥ 1353||38-41||303-326||120||248|
|42H||12.8-13.2||1.28-1.32||≥ 12.0||≥ 955||≥ 17||≥ 1353||40-43||318-342||120||248|
|45H||13.2-13.5||1.32-1.38||≥ 12.0||≥ 955||≥ 17||≥ 1353||42-46||335-366||120||248|
|46H||13.3-13.8||1.33-1.38||≥ 12.2||≥ 972||≥ 16||≥ 1274||44-47||350-374||120||248|
|48H||13.6-14.3||1.36-1.43||≥ 12.5||≥ 995||≥ 16||≥ 1274||46-49||366-390||120||248|
|30SH||10.8-11.4||1.081.14||≥ 10.0||≥ 796||≥ 20||≥ 1672||28-31||223-247||150||302|
|33SH||11.4-11.8||1.14-1.18||≥ 10.5||≥ 836||≥ 20||≥ 1672||31-34||247-276||150||302|
|35SH||11.8-12.3||1.18-1.23||≥ 11.0||≥ 876||≥ 20||≥ 1672||33-36||263-287||150||302|
|38SH||12.3-12.7||1.23-1.27||≥ 11.4||≥ 907||≥ 20||≥ 1972||36-39||287-310||150||302|
|40SH||12.5-12.8||1.25-1.28||≥ 11.8||≥ 939||≥ 20||≥ 1972||38-41||302-326||150||302|
|42SH||12.8-13.2||1.28-1.32||≥ 11.8||≥ 939||≥ 20||≥ 1672||40-43||320-343||150||302|
|45SH||13.2-13.8||1.32-1.38||≥ 12.6||≥ 1003||≥ 20||≥ 1592||43-46||342-366||150||302|
|30UH||10.8-11.4||1.08-1.14||≥ 10.2||≥ 812||≥ 25||≥ 1990||28-31||223-247||180||356|
|33UH||11.3-11.7||1.13-1.17||≥ 10.7||≥ 852||≥ 25||≥ 1990||31-33||247-263||180||356|
|35UH||11.7-12.1||1.17-1.21||≥ 10.7||≥ 852||≥ 25||≥ 1990||33-36||263-287||180||356|
|38UH||12.1-12.5||1.21-1.25||≥ 11.4||≥ 907||≥ 25||≥ 1990||36-39||287-310||180||356|
|40UH||12.5-12.8||1.25-1.28||≥ 11.4||≥ 907||≥ 25||≥ 1990||38-41||302-326||180||356|
|28EH||10.5-10.8||1.05-1.08||≥ 9.5||≥ 756||≥ 30||≥ 2388||26-29||207-231||200||392|
|30EH||10.8-11.4||1.08-1.14||≥ 9.5||≥ 756||≥ 30||≥ 2388||28-31||223-241||200||292|
|33EH||11.3-11.7||1.13-1.17||≥ 10.2||≥ 812||≥ 30||≥ 2388||31-33||247-263||200||392|
|35EH||11.7-12.1||1.17-1.21||≥ 10.2||≥ 812||≥ 30||≥ 2388||33-36||263-287||200||392|
|38EH||12.1-12.5||1.21-1.25||≥ 11.4||≥ 907||≥ 30||≥ 2388||36-39||287-310||200||392|
|30AH||10.8-11.3||1.08-1.13||≥ 10.2||≥ 812||≥ 35||≥ 2785||28-32||223-255||220||428|
|33AH||11.2-11.7||1.12-1.17||≥ 10.2||≥ 812||≥ 35||≥ 2785||31-34||247-271||220||428|
The raw materials of NdFeB magnetic materials mainly include rare earth metals such as neodymium, praseodymium, neodymium and dysprosium iron, as well as pure iron and ferroboron alloy. Praseodymium, neodymium and other rare earth metals account for about 60% of the cost of raw materials. From the cost structure of NdFeB processing enterprises, raw materials account for 60-80%. The fluctuation of rare earth price will affect the profitability of upstream smelting separation enterprises and NdFeB production enterprises, but NdFeB enterprises are less affected by price fluctuation.
Figure 1: Cost structure of NdFeB raw materials
Permanent magnet materials are mainly divided into rare earth permanent magnet materials, financial permanent magnet materials, composite permanent magnet materials and ferrite permanent magnet materials. NdFeB under rare earth permanent magnet materials is a widely used and rapidly developing magnet product. It is only 20 years since the invention of NdFeB. Because of its high magnetic properties and easy processing, the price is not very high, so the application field expands rapidly. At present, the magnetic energy product of commercial NdFeB can reach 50 mgoe, which is 10 times of that of ferrite. Nd-Fe-B also belongs to powder metallurgy products, and its processing method is similar to samarium cobalt.
Table 1: classification of permanent magnet materials
|Permanent magnet material||Rare earth permanent magnetic materials||NdFeB permanent magnet||Sintered NdFeB|
|Hot pressed NdFeB|
|Samarium cobalt permanent magnet|
|Iron nitride permanent magnet|
|Metal permanent magnetic materials||AlNiCo alloy|
|Composite permanent magnet material|
|Ferrite permanent magnet materials|
Rare earth permanent magnetic materials are the third generation of permanent magnetic materials developed after metal system and ferrite system. Rare earth permanent magnetic materials have been developing rapidly since they came out in the 1960s. According to the time sequence of their development and application, they can be divided into four generations: the first generation is SmCo5 series; the second generation is Sm2Co17 series; and the third generation is NdFeB series, which was successfully developed in the early 1980s. Because of its excellent performance and low price, they are rapidly used in many fields The fourth generation is rare earth iron nitrogen and rare earth iron carbon. According to the estimation of experts in the industry, it will take at least several decades for the fourth generation of rare earth permanent magnet materials, which are expected to be mature and practical.
Table 2: development process of rare earth permanent magnet materials
|The first generation||SmCo5||They are all cobalt based permanent magnet alloys, but due to the high cost of raw materials, limited by resources and prices, they are mainly used in high-end fields.|
|The second generation||Sm2Co17|
|The third generation||NdFeB||In 1983, it was discovered by Japan and the United States at the same time. It is called the third generation permanent magnet material. It is composed of a large number of neodymium, iron and boron, of which neodymium accounts for 25% – 35%.|
|The fourth generation||Rare earth iron nitrogen (Re-Fe-N series) and rare earth iron carbon (Re-Fe-C series)||At present, the fourth generation Fe-N (c) permanent magnet is still in the research and development stage. Among the existing three generations of rare earth permanent magnet materials, NdFeB has the characteristics of small volume, light weight, strong magnetism and so on. Due to the advantages of easy access to raw materials and low price, it develops very rapidly.|
According to the different manufacturing process, NdFeB permanent magnet materials can be divided into sintering, bonding and hot pressing. They have their own characteristics in performance and application. The overlapping range of downstream application fields is relatively small. They play a complementary role rather than a substitute or crowding role.
Table 3: comparison of rare earth NdFeB materials
|Sintered NdFeB||High magnetic energy product, high coercivity and high working temperature||Powder metallurgy process is adopted. The melted powder is made into powder and pressed into compact in magnetic field. The compact is sintered in inert gas or vacuum||Automotive industry, industrial motor, consumer electronics, clean energy, aviation clean energy, aerospace and other fields|
|Bonded NdFeB||The technology is simple, the cost is low, the volume is small, the precision is high, and the magnetic field is uniform and stable||The magnetic plastic material is made by mixing plastic material binder and NdFeB permanent magnetic powder powder powder, and then it is made by molding process of various plastic materials||Office automation equipment, electrical installation machinery, audio-visual equipment, instrumentation and small motors and other fields|
|Hot pressed NdFeB||High density, high orientation, good corrosion resistance, high coercivity and near final molding||The magnet with high magnetic properties is made by hot extrusion and hot deformation||–|
Table 4: Nd-Fe-B has outstanding performance advantages in permanent magnet materials
|–||AlNiCo||Ferrite||Samarium cobalt permanent magnet||NdFeB|
|Maximum magnetic energy product (MGOe)||0.38-1.53||1.76-4.21||15-21||11-40|
|Intrinsic coercivity (kOe)||1.4-13.2||0.17-5.2||24-33||33-50|
|Processing difficulty||Easy to shape, less difficult to machine||Difficult to form, difficult to machine||Machining is difficult||Easy to shape, less difficult to machine|
|Advantage||The best temperature and time stability, high corrosion resistance||Abundant resources and low price||High working temperature, strong corrosion resistance, excellent magnetic properties||High magnetic energy product, good mechanical properties, cutting and drilling|
|Disadvantage||Low cost performance||Poor magnetic properties, poor temperature stability||Low cost performance||Poor temperature stability, low chemical stability|
|Application field||Instrument, electric energy meter||Fan motors for large-volume speakers, toys, and home appliances||Military and Aerospace||VCM, various permanent magnet motors, automotive EPS, MRI|
China takes advantage of rare earth NdFeB permanent magnet materials
China is the largest producer of rare earth minerals, accounting for 62.9% of the total rare earth mineral products in 2020, followed by the United States and Australia, accounting for 12.4% and 10% respectively.
Thanks to rare earth reserves, China has become the world’s largest production base and export base of rare earth permanent magnet materials. According to the statistics of China Rare Earth Industry Association, in 2018, China produced 138000 tons of neodymium iron boron magnetic materials, accounting for 87% of the world’s total output, nearly 10 times that of Japan, the second largest in the world.
Rare earth NdFeB materials are widely used in the world
From the perspective of application fields, low-end NdFeB is mainly used in magnetic adsorption, magnetic separation, electric bicycle, luggage buckle, door buckle, toys and other fields, while high-performance NdFeB is mainly used in various types of motor and magnetic steel of loudspeaker in the field of high-tech barriers, including energy-saving motor, automobile motor, wind power generation, advanced audio-visual equipment, elevator motor, etc.
Figure 2: distribution of global NdFeB downstream consumption in 2020 (unit:%)
China’s new energy vehicle production and sales remain strong. In 2020, my country’s new energy vehicle production and sales will be 1.4 million units, down 2.3% and 4.0% year-on-year, respectively. It is expected that in 2021/2022, it will exceed 2/2.74 million units. In the future, China’s new energy vehicle production will maintain a growth rate of about 40%. , It is predicted that China’s new energy vehicle output will reach 5.74 million in 2025. Based on the consumption of 5 kilograms of NdFeB per new energy vehicle, China’s new energy vehicles will drive 10,000/13700 tons of NdFeB permanent magnet materials in 2021/2022 consumption.
EPS penetration rate of traditional automobile market continues to increase. EPS is one of the main applications of rare earth in the world, and the increase of its permeability will significantly promote the consumption of NdFeB. In 2009, China sold 13.64 million vehicles, surpassing 10.43 million vehicles in the United States, becoming the largest automobile consumer market in the world for the first time, accounting for 21% of global automobile sales. Since 2009, China has been the largest automobile consumer market in the world. In 2019, China’s global car sales accounted for about 28%, 9 PCT higher than that of the United States. It is predicted that China’s automobile sales will reach 35 million in 2025. Assuming that the EPS penetration rate is 35% in 2017, the EPS penetration rate will increase by 3% every year in the future. Each set of EPS needs to use 0.25 kg of NdFeB. It is estimated that the vehicle output will be 2712 / 2854 / 30.03 million vehicles in 2020-2022, and the demand for NdFeB of EPS system will be 2983 / 3353 / 3754 tons respectively.
The penetration rate of variable frequency air conditioning continues to increase, driving the consumption of NdFeB. In 2019, the sales volume of China’s variable frequency air conditioners is 68.038 million units. According to the amount of NdFeB required for each variable frequency air conditioner is 0.1 kg, about 68.00 tons of NdFeB will be consumed in the production of variable frequency air conditioners in 2019. In 2013-2019, the CAGR of variable frequency air conditioning production is 11.4%, and its proportion in the total air conditioning production is increased from 31.9% in 2013 to 45.2% in 2019. It is estimated that the CAGR of the national variable frequency air conditioning production will be maintained at about 13% in 2019-2022, the national variable frequency air conditioning production will reach 7688 / 8687 / 9817 million units in 2020 / 2021 / 2022, and the demand of NdFeB brought by the national variable frequency air conditioning production will reach 7688 / 8687 / 9817 tons in 2020 / 2021 / 2022.
The development of energy-saving elevator drives the demand of NdFeB permanent magnet materials. Each traction elevator consumes 6kg of NdFeB. In 2020, China’s energy-saving elevator consumed 5315 tons of NdFeB. With the further development of energy-saving elevator, the demand for NdFeB permanent magnet materials will increase. Assuming that the annual output of energy-saving elevators increases by about 10%, it is estimated that the consumption of magnetic materials of energy-saving elevators in China will reach 5846 tons respectively in 2021.
Industrial robots are expected to generate 9199 tons of NdFeB demand in 2022. From 2015 to 2019, the annual output of industrial robots in China will rise sharply from 32996 sets to 186943.4 sets, with CAGR of 54.3%. The output of industrial robots in China will double from 2018 to 2020, and the output of industrial robots in China may exceed 250000 in 2020. It is estimated that the CAGR of industrial robot production will be 35% in 2020-2022, and the industrial robot production in China will reach 252374 / 340704 / 459951 sets in 2020 / 2021 / 2022 respectively, and the corresponding NdFeB consumption will reach 5047 / 6814 / 9199 tons.
Figure 3: Long term forecast of global new energy vehicle (passenger vehicle) sales (unit: million)
Figure 4: Demand of new energy vehicles for NdFeB in 2020-2021 Unit: ton
Figure 5: Sales forecast of new energy vehicles in China/unit: 10000 vehicles
Table 5: high performance NdFeB is widely used and there is no substitute material at present
|Main areas||Main applications||Advantage|
|New energy vehicles||Permanent magnet drive motor||Small size, fast response, high efficiency and energy saving, with higher driving power|
|Traditional car||EPS core components||It can provide the best assistance under various driving conditions, improve the steering characteristics of the vehicle, and improve the steering stability and safety|
|Wind power generation||Permanent magnet direct drive fan||Full power converter technology is adopted, with strong reactive power compensation and low voltage ride through capability, less impact on power grid, and 5% – 10% higher generation efficiency than average|
|Energy saving elevator||Permanent magnet synchronous traction machine||The transmission efficiency is 20% – 30% higher than that of the traditional asynchronous traction machine, and the overall energy consumption is 45% – 60% lower than that of the traditional asynchronous traction machine|
|Inverter air conditioner||Variable frequency air conditioning compressor||Compared with constant frequency air conditioning, it can save more than 30% energy, and its service life can reach 12-15 years|
|Energy saving oil||Linear motor pumping unit||High efficiency, easy operation, simple mechanism, low starting current, high stability, energy saving up to 45%|
Table 6: global demand for high performance NdFeB
New energy vehicles (each pure electric vehicle consumes 5kg of NdFeB, and each hybrid vehicle consumes 2kg)
Domestic production of new energy vehicles (10000 units)
Domestic pure electric vehicle output (10000 units)
Domestic production of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (10000 units)
Overseas production of new energy vehicles (10000 units)
Overseas pure electric vehicle output (10000 units)
Overseas production of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (10000 units)
Consumption of NdFeB magnetic materials for new energy vehicles (tons)
Traditional vehicle (0.25kg NdFeB per EPS)
Domestic automobile output (10000 units)
Domestic EPS usage (10000 sets)
Overseas automobile output (10000 units)
Overseas EPS usage (10000 sets)
Traditional automobile EPS consumes NdFeB magnetic material (ton)
Variable frequency air conditioner (each variable frequency air conditioner consumes 120g NdFeB)
Domestic variable frequency air conditioning output (10000 sets)
Overseas variable frequency air conditioning output (10000 units)
Consumption of Nd-Fe-B magnetic material for variable frequency air conditioning (ton)
Wind power generation (0.8 tons of NdFeB per MW direct drive permanent magnet wind turbine)
New installed capacity of domestic wind power (MW)
Permeability of permanent magnet direct drive fan
New installed capacity of overseas wind power (MW)
Permeability of permanent magnet direct drive fan
NdFeB magnetic material consumed by wind power (ton)
Energy saving elevator (each energy saving elevator consumes 6kg NdFeB)
Domestic energy saving elevator output (10000 sets)
Elevator ownership (10000 sets)
Number of energy saving elevators (10000 sets)
Overseas energy saving elevator output (10000 sets)
Overseas elevator ownership (10000 sets)
Number of energy saving elevators transformed overseas (10000 sets)
Energy saving elevator consumes NdFeB magnetic material (ton)
Robot (each robot consumes 25kg NdFeB)
Domestic production of industrial robots
Domestic service robot output (set)
Output of overseas industrial robots
Output of overseas service robots
NdFeB magnet consumed by robot (ton)
Global demand for NdFeB magnets (tons)
China’s rare earth Nd-Fe-B materials are rising steadily, concentrated in Zhejiang
Since 2000, China has become the world’s largest producer of rare earth NdFeB permanent magnet materials. With the development of downstream applications, the output of NdFeB permanent magnet materials in China has been growing rapidly. During the 11 years from 2010 to 2020, the output of NdFeB permanent magnet materials in China has increased by 118%, with an average annual compound growth rate of 9.06%.
According to the data of China Rare Earth Industry Association in 2019, the output of sintered NdFeB blanks was 170000 tons, accounting for 94.3% of the total output of NdFeB magnetic materials in that year, bonded NdFeB accounted for 4.4%, and other total output accounted for only 1.3%. The data show that sintered NdFeB is the most widely used NdFeB material with the largest output.
Figure 6: Classification of NdFeB permanent magnet materials in China in 2020 (unit:%)
China’s NdFeB production capacity is mainly concentrated in Zhejiang, Shanxi, Shandong, Inner Mongolia and other places. Among them, Zhejiang has the advantage of industrial concentration, numerous enterprises and comprehensive development of industrial chain, with an annual capacity of 115600 tons, accounting for 38.7% of the total domestic capacity.
Output expected to continue to rise
It can be seen from the previous analysis that the global downstream consumption of NdFeB is distributed in the motor industry, public transportation and railway, intelligent robots, wind power generation and new energy vehicles. The growth rate of the above industries in the next five years will all exceed 10%, which will lead to the increase of NdFeB production in China. Although ferrite is the main component of permanent magnet materials at the present stage, the price and functional advantages of rare earth NdFeB are deeply remembered. It is predicted that the output of NdFeB in China will keep a growth rate of 6% in the next five years, and will exceed 260000 tons by 2025.
Source: China Permanent Magnet Manufacturer – www.rizinia.com