CMI Technologies with Magnets

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CMI researchers have created many invention disclosures and filed dozens of patent applications. This page lists technologies related to magnets, which also are on the complete list of CMI invention disclosures. These are available for licensing. For CMI technology transfer, licensing or commercial inquiries, please contact Stacy Joiner at the Ames Laboratory 515-294-5932 or

  • Recovery of Dy-enriched Fe Alloy from Magnet Scrap Alloy via Selective Separation of Rare Earth Elements
    Patent issued August 2017 #9,725,788
    Processing technique that utilizes rare earth magnets scrap (discarded permanent magnets) containing different heavy and light rare earth elements (Nd, Pr and Dy) to recover a Dy‐enriched Fe‐based alloy.
  • Additive Manufacturing of Bonded Permanent Magnets using a Novel Polymer Matrix
    Utility patent filed | Licensed
    This invention disclosure reports a method of direct manufacturing of bonded magnets using a polymer extrusion based additive manufacturing and a new composition of matter.
  • High Throughput Cost Effective Rare Earth Magnets Recycling System
    Patent issued May 2020 #10,643,776Licensed | link to licensing information
    Cost effective, five-step process to recycle rare earth (RE) magnets from computer hard drives (HDs) and potentially other consumer items such as electric motors, power tools, refrigeration compressors and electric generators.
  • Recycle of Fe Nd B Machine Swarf and Magnets
    Patent application filed
    Recycling process for Fe Nd B machine swarf and magnets.
  • Novel Methods toward Selective Surface Modification of Nd2Fe14B Magnets to Achieve High Performance Permanent Magnets
    Patent issued March 2020 #10,586,640 | Licensed
    This invention disclosure reports a method of selectively applying Dysprosium (Dy) to improve the coercivity of Nd2Fe14B-based magnets. We have determined the corners of the magnet surface where the demagnetization fields are high through microscopic calculation of the demagnetization factors. Based on these results, we have selectively coated Dy onto Nd2Fe14B magnet surfaces and improved its energy product by optimized annealing conditions. The optimized process conditions can also be achieved by selective heating. With heating, the magnet can be selectively heated to allow the diffusion of Dy into the Nd2Fe14B matrix.
  • 3D Printable Liquid Crystalline Elastomers with Tunable Shape Memory Behaviors and Bio-derived Renditions
    Patent issued September 2019 #10,407,535 | link to licensing information
    The invention describes a method to prepare a smetic main-chain liquid crystalline epoxy elastomer. Microstructures of the material including liquid crystallinity and crosslinking network were modified by adjusting the stoichiometric ratio of the reactants to tailor thermomechnical properties and shape memory behaviors. This invention includes a new class of materials based on epoxy and elastomer composites and processing solutions that will enable additive manufacturing of materials with enhanced cross-layer bonding and functionality such as shape shifting structures. Additive manufacturing of mechanically robust polymer composites requires localized heating and large thermal gradients that cause many conventional materials designed for polymer additive manufacturing to fail due to large macroscopic distortions. This problem is compounded by low adhesion between deposition layers. Our invention provides a specific solution that is centered on controlling the evolution of crystalline domains using directional electromagnetic fields and strong covalent bonding across layers. Materials with low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) can be obtained from liquid crystalline precursors. The zero-CTE epoxy composite and a shape shifting liquid crystalline elastomeric composite disclosed here is compatible with additive manufacturing. The economic viability can be maintained by making use of low cost biopolymers (lignin) both as integral component and/or cross-linking agent. We will pursue a two-phase approach:
    1. Conversion of a commercial epoxy into stable pellets for room temperature extrusion. Electromagnetic processing will provide the targeted deposition of power and thermal energy to control polymer morphology resulting in a benchmark zero-CTE epoxy resin.
    2. Incorporation of lignin as a rigid crosslinker and compounding with other reinforcing agents such as glass fibers, to lower cost and to improve the strength and durability of the material.
  • Novel 3D Printing Method to Fabricate Bonded Magnets of Complex Shape
    Patent application filed | link to licensing information
    Successfully developed a 3D-printable epoxy-based ink for the direct-write additive manufacturing of bonded magnets. Also, demonstrated the preferential alignment of magnetic particles to improve the control over the properties of the printed object.
  • Method for Manufacturing of Samarium Cobalt and Neodymium Iron Boride Magnets
    Patent application filed
    A method for manufacturing high coercivity samarium cobalt and neodymium iron boride magnets that is compatible with additive manufacturing and requires no polymer binder. Samarium cobalt oxide and neodymium iron boride particles are the feedstock for the magnet, which can be deposited into near-net shape parts using additive manufacturing techniques such as electrophoretic deposition (EPD). The innovative part of the process is the critical conversion of these oxide nanoparticles which have been deposited into near net-shape parts directly to permanent magnets using calcium vapor during annealing.
  • Additive Printing of Bonded Magnets using Magnet Powders and a Polymer Composition
    Patent application filed | Licensed | link to licensing information
    This invention describes methods of three-dimensional printing of an object. Methods of three-dimensional printing an object can include forming an object using a coreactive printing composition that is produced from a mixture of at least two coreactive components having coreactive functional groups wherein at least one of the coreactive components comprises a saturated functional group along with hard or soft magnetic powders. Also included within the scope of the present disclosure is a printed three-dimensional object formed from layers of a coreactive printing composition produced from at least two coreactive components along with hard or soft magnetic powders. We have successfully fabricated bonded magnets with magnet powders in a polymer composition.
  • Eutectic Alloy Compositions to Improve the Coercivity and Density of Binder Jet Printed Bonded Magnets
    Bonded magnets have experienced a rapid increased usage in automobiles owing to their superior advantages such as complex shape, light weight, cost effective, etc. In this invention, a binder jetting Additive Manufacturing technique is employed to fabricate bonded magnets, followed by a process with eutectic alloys in an attempt to enhance the mechanical and magnetic strength of the magnet product.
  • Separation of Rare Earth Elements Recovered from Scrap Permanent Magnets
    This invention would make possible the separation, recovery and reuse of highly valuable rare earth elements, such as neodymium and dysprosium, from scrap permanent magnets.
  • Big Area Additive Manufacturing of High Performance Bonded Magnets
    Patent filed | link to licensing information
    Developed a method to print bonded magnets.
  • Stabilization of Magnetic Soft Phase in a Hard Magnetic Matrix
    To develop a super-strong magnet with high energy density (energy product) is essential for reducing volume of magnets and electronic devices for highly efficiently energy conversions. This super-strong magnet needs to have a large magnetic coercively and remnant magnetization, giving the optimum energy product, (BH)max. Conventional hard magnets, especially those based on SmCo alloys, have very high coercivity, but modest magnetization values. This innovation increases magnetic remanence without sacrificing the coercivity; the hard magnet should be coupled with a soft magnetic soft phase with high remnant magnetization.
  • SmCo5-based compounds doped with Fe and Ni for high-performance permanent magnets
    Provisional Patent Application Filed
    This innovation substitutes some amount of Co by Fe in SmCo5 magnets, which stabilizes the Sm(Co1-xFex)5 magnets and helps to produce a large energy product.
  • Developing Bulk Exchange Spring Magnets
    Patent issued June 2017 #9,691,545
    The challenge in producing high performing superior exchange spring magnets (ESMs) has been the inability to precisely control the spacing of the particles and the coupling between them. Electrophoretic deposition (EPD), which utilizes the induced surface charge (that) particles exhibit when placed in both aqueous and organic liquids, is used to control the motion of the particles in suspension in the presence of electric fields. As such, EPD permits the precise control of particles needed to manufacture superior ESMs with energy products approaching the theoretical maximum.
  • Cerium, Cobalt and Copper Alloy doped with Tantalum and/or Iron as a Permanent Magnet Material
    Provisional Patent Application Filed
    A series of 1:5-type cerium, cobalt and copper alloys doped with Iron and Ta which retain or/and improve magnetic characteristics of typical 1 :5-type isotropic permanent magnets and represent a more economical and more favorable alternative to Sm-based magnets with respect to both material and processing costs.  The purpose of this invention is to develop a "GAP MAGNET" that utilizes widely available and inexpensive Ce, which is a more affordable alternative to critical rare-earths, which makes the magnet significantly cheaper and less supply dependent, and yet successfully performs within the niche of energy products that exists between present-day low-flux and high-flux magnets. 
  • Cerium - Cerium-rich – Rare Earth, Cobalt and Magnesium Alloy doped with Iron as a Permanent Magnet Material
    Patent application filed
    A series of 1:3-type cerium, cerium-rich rare earth cobalt and magnesium alloys doped with iron that retain and/or improve magnetic characteristics of typical commercial high-flux isotropic permanent magnets and represent economically more favorable alternative to rare-earth-based magnets with respect to both material and processing costs.  The purpose of this invention is to develop a Co-lean “GAP MAGNET” that also utilizes widely available and inexpensive Ce as a more affordable alternative to critical rare-earths, making the magnet significantly cheaper and less supply dependent.
  • Feedstock and Heterogeneous Structure for Tough Rare Earth Permanent Magnets and Production Process Thereof
    Patent application filed
    The present invention is a developed feedstock and heterogeneous structure for rare earth permanent magnets (REPMs) and their production methods. More particularly, the invention relates to feedstock and heterogeneous structure for REPMs with significantly enhanced flexural strength or fracture toughness while maintaining, or with a minimum sacrifice, in the hard magnetic properties. The novel tough REPMs have heterogeneous structures, such as bi-modal, tri-modal, multimodal or gradient grained structures, or other microstructural heterogeneity. This invention would not only improve the magnet manufacturing efficiency and machinability, reduce part failure rate, and effectively use of expensive critical materials, but it would also greatly expand the market for this class of permanent magnets, by offering opportunities for new applications, new shapes, and lower costs. Tougher REPMs could also make it possible for production of bulky magnets with even higher magnetic performance and larger dimensions via optimization of alloy composition and heat treatment process.
  • Surface Mount Permanent Magnet Attachment for Electric Machine
    Patent application filed
    This invention disclosure relates to permanent magnet configurations for rotors of electric machines. This disclosure describes methods of securing permanent magnets via one or more mechanical interface connections between the permanent magnet and the rotor core elements.
  • Internal Mount Permanent Magnet Attachment for Electric Machine
    Patent application filed
    Permanent magnet configurations for rotors of electric machines that can optimize air flow, power density, and operating currents. In some embodiments, the mechanical interface
    connection is a dovetail connection in which the permanent magnet includes a dovetail shape at an inner radial surface of the permanent magnet, while the rotor core includes a complimentary reverse dovetail shape at the radial outer surface of the rotor core.
  • Method of Creating a Magnet
    Patent application filed
    Improved ways of stabilizing particles to create a magnet. Relates to a reliable chemical process of stabilizing Fe nanoparticles in high temperature annealing conditions for the preparation of exchange-coupled SmCo5-Fe nanocomposites.
  • Reduced Critical Rare Earth High Temperature Magnet
    The invention substantially reduces expensive, critical rare earth content in high performance magnets while maintaining room temperature magnetic properties. It increases Curie point substantially relative to the Nd2Fe14B material and may therefore offer better high temperature performance than Nd2Fe14B and SmCo5 at a lower cost with more commonly available elements less subject to geopolitical supply risk.  The material also affords the possibility, unlike Nd2Fe14B and SmCo5, for "tuning" of properties for the desired application.
  • SmCo5-based Compounds Doped with Fe and Ni for High-Performance Permanent Magnets
    Patent application filed
    The innovation is based on SmCo5 (in the hexagonal CaCu5-type structure) with three non-equivalent atomic sites: Sm1-(1a), Co1-(2c), Co2-(3g) with 6 atoms per formula unit. More generally, the invention comprises specific distribution of Co, Fe, and Ni atoms in transition metal (TM) 2c and 3g nonequivalent atomic sites.
  • Production of Permanent Magnets Using Electrophoretic Deposition
    Electrophoretic deposition (EPD) is used to additively manufacture permanent magnets. They can be of various compositions such as those based on Nd2Fe14B, SmCo5, Sm2Co17, and ferrites.  The magnets may be functionally graded, for example the Nd2Fe14B system may have layers of Dy rich Dy-Fe-B or DyF3 selectively deposited on the magnet in areas where large demagnetizing fields will be applied.  An externally applied magnetic field may be applied to anisotropic particles in the deposition chamber so that the particles are aligned as they are deposited.  The magnetic field may be applied either parallel or perpendicular to the electric field, depending on the desired magnet orientation.
  • Low Temperature Electrofining of Rare Earth Element Mixtures
    This technology is for a low temperature (<100°C) electrorefining process for rare earth elements (REEs), via reduction into molten metal, from either recycled or mined REE mixtures. For recycled magnets, a mixture of Pr, Nd, Dy are obtained and the project would specifically target the challenging Pr-Nd separation. For mining applications there are numerous possible applications, particularly because a high separation factor could be achieved.
  • Alkaline-Based Rare-Earth Free Hard Magnets
    The present invention provides a new permanent magnet that its magnetic moment remains the same as that of SmCo5. Although the uniaxial magnetic anisotropy of invented system is approximately 1/5th of the anisotropy of SmCo5, our system is completely rare earth free and it will be the cheapest possible gap magnet.
  • Electrochemically Driven Dissolution of Rare Earth Magnets
    An electrochemically driven process which eliminates need to add acid for dissolution of magnets. This application would be used for recycling of rare earth magnets, where rare earth elements are bound in the metallic structure of the magnet alloy. By weight the rare earth elements are about 35 percent of the composition. Typical dissolution procedures involve adding acid to perform the dissolution. The approach described here largely eliminates acid use, where an electrochemical reaction creates the dissolution environment.
  • Alkaline Earth Metal Based 2-14-1 and 1-12-1 Hard Magnets
    The present invention provides new permanent magnets (A2Fe14B and AFe12N, where A = alkaline earth metal) that their magnetic moments remain nearly similar to that of Nd2Fe14B and NdFe12N, respectively. The magnetic anisotropies of the invented magnet material are uniaxial that qualifies them to be a permanent magnet. These anisotropies can be further enhanced to achieve needed anisotropy for gap magnets. From predictive strain calculations, it is also possible to mechanically stabilize these systems. The partial substitution of Nd by alkaline earth metal could stabilize NdFe12N in the bulk form.
  • Novel Method to Prepare High Performance Magnet Polymer Composite Magnets
    Patent application filed
    An extrusion-based 3D printing method to fabricate bonded magnets with a loading fraction of up to 70 vol.%. We have developed a method to recycle end-of-life bonded magnets. We have developed a novel extrusion-compression molding method to for complex shaped parts.
  • Automated Recovery of Rare Earth Permanent Magnets from Electric Machines
    Patent application filed
    This invention describes a method for economic dismantlement of electric machines and other apparatus to recover critical rare earth elements and other value streams such as copper, printed circuit boards, aluminum, steels, wire, etc. This process ingests entire electric machines and dismantles them down to individual, separated value streams. The proposition is to automate the disassembly process for many types of electric machines by human-robot collaboration. The collaboration allows for rapid extraction of critical REEs by taking advantage of both human and robotic skill sets.
  • Preferential Degradation
    The preferential degradation process takes advantage of the grinding behavior of different materials in heterogenous shredder output to produce a rare earth concentrate from magnet containing devices.
  • Fine Grain Structures for Tough Rare Earth Permanent Magnets and Production Therefor
    Develop fine grain structures for rare earth permanent magnets and their production methods. Relates to refined grain structures with significantly enhanced flexural strength or fracture toughness while maintaining or with a minimum sacrifice in the hard magnetic properties. The novel tough magnets will be more robust for energy applications, more effective for the use of critical materials while reducing the pressure on critical material supply chain. This invented technology is cost-effective, and also compatible with the existing manufacturing processes so that it can be readily adopted by the industry.
  • New High Performance Magnet - Zr and Fe-alloyed Ce2Co17
    Novel solution to the use of rare earth elements in the composition of strong permanent magnets. The invention provides a high performance magnet using abundant non-critical elements to allow for the generation of magnetic anisotropy without neodymium, samarium or dysprosium.
  • In-situ Alignment of Filament-Based 3D Printed Magnetic Material
    Develop a system with novel magnetic field source architecture and software for performing in-situ alignment of magnetic particles in fused filament commercial 3D printer. This process can be used for any magnetic material composition, including permanent or hybrid magnets. The concept could also be applicable for 3D printing of polymer materials with soft ferromagnetic domains and for in-situ pore (or channel) alignment in 3D printed architectures (like battery electrode). The work presents a benchmark for application of in-situ magnetic alignment of 3D printed magnetic system in industrial and commercial applications.
  • Novel Method to Align Anisotropic Bonded Permanent Magnets during Printing
    Method to align anistrophic bonded permanent magnets during printing. The printed magnets demonstrate both high degree of alignment and magnetic properties.
  • Discovery of Sm 0.5 Ce 0.5 Co 4 Cu: Permanent magnet with 50 percent reduced Sm and 20 percent reduced Co as compared to SmCo 5
    New permanent magnet compositions with 50 percent reduced Sm and 20 percent reduced Co as compared to SmCo5, which provide cheaper and stable gap magnet.