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Title: Processing of alnico permanent magnets by advanced directional solidification methods

Abstract

Advanced directional solidification methods have been used to produce large (>15 cm length) castings of Alnico permanent magnets with highly oriented columnar microstructures. In combination with subsequent thermomagnetic and draw thermal treatment, this method was used to enable the high coercivity, high-Titanium Alnico composition of 39% Co, 29.5% Fe, 14% Ni, 7.5% Ti, 7% Al, 3% Cu (wt%) to have an intrinsic coercivity (H ci) of 2.0 kOe, a remanence (B r) of 10.2 kG, and an energy product (BH) max of 10.9 MGOe. These properties compare favorably to typical properties for the commercial Alnico 9. Directional solidification of higher Ti compositions yielded anisotropic columnar grained microstructures if high heat extraction rates through the mold surface of at least 200 kW/m 2 were attained. This was achieved through the use of a thin walled (5 mm thick) high thermal conductivity SiC shell mold extracted from a molten Sn bath at a withdrawal rate of at least 200 mm/h. However, higher Ti compositions did not result in further increases in magnet performance. Images of the microstructures collected by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) reveal a majority α phase with inclusions of secondary αγ phase. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) reveals that the αmore » phase has a spinodally decomposed microstructure of FeCo-rich needles in a NiAl-rich matrix. In the 7.5% Ti composition the diameter distribution of the FeCo needles was bimodal with the majority having diameters of approximately 50 nm with a small fraction having diameters of approximately 10 nm. The needles formed a mosaic pattern and were elongated along one <001> crystal direction (parallel to the field used during magnetic annealing). Cu precipitates were observed between the needles. Regions of abnormal spinodal morphology appeared to correlate with secondary phase precipitates. The presence of these abnormalities did not prevent the material from displaying superior magnetic properties in the 7.5% Ti composition. As a result, higher Ti compositions did not display the preferred spinodal microstructure, explaining their inferior magnetic properties.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [2];  [2]
  1. General Electric Global Research, Niskayuna, NY (United States)
  2. Ames Lab. and Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Ames Laboratory (AMES), Ames, IA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1321911
Report Number(s):
IS-J-9003
Journal ID: ISSN 0304-8853; PII: S0304885316307971
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-07CH11358; E0005573
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 420; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0304-8853
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; alnico; directional solidification; permanent magnets; transmission electron microscopy

Citation Formats

Zou, Min, Johnson, Francis, Zhang, Wanming, Zhao, Qi, Rutkowski, Stephen F., Zhou, Lin, and Kramer, Matthew J.. Processing of alnico permanent magnets by advanced directional solidification methods. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1016/j.jmmm.2016.06.091.
Zou, Min, Johnson, Francis, Zhang, Wanming, Zhao, Qi, Rutkowski, Stephen F., Zhou, Lin, & Kramer, Matthew J.. Processing of alnico permanent magnets by advanced directional solidification methods. United States. doi:10.1016/j.jmmm.2016.06.091.
Zou, Min, Johnson, Francis, Zhang, Wanming, Zhao, Qi, Rutkowski, Stephen F., Zhou, Lin, and Kramer, Matthew J.. 2016. "Processing of alnico permanent magnets by advanced directional solidification methods". United States. doi:10.1016/j.jmmm.2016.06.091. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1321911.
@article{osti_1321911,
title = {Processing of alnico permanent magnets by advanced directional solidification methods},
author = {Zou, Min and Johnson, Francis and Zhang, Wanming and Zhao, Qi and Rutkowski, Stephen F. and Zhou, Lin and Kramer, Matthew J.},
abstractNote = {Advanced directional solidification methods have been used to produce large (>15 cm length) castings of Alnico permanent magnets with highly oriented columnar microstructures. In combination with subsequent thermomagnetic and draw thermal treatment, this method was used to enable the high coercivity, high-Titanium Alnico composition of 39% Co, 29.5% Fe, 14% Ni, 7.5% Ti, 7% Al, 3% Cu (wt%) to have an intrinsic coercivity (Hci) of 2.0 kOe, a remanence (Br) of 10.2 kG, and an energy product (BH)max of 10.9 MGOe. These properties compare favorably to typical properties for the commercial Alnico 9. Directional solidification of higher Ti compositions yielded anisotropic columnar grained microstructures if high heat extraction rates through the mold surface of at least 200 kW/m2 were attained. This was achieved through the use of a thin walled (5 mm thick) high thermal conductivity SiC shell mold extracted from a molten Sn bath at a withdrawal rate of at least 200 mm/h. However, higher Ti compositions did not result in further increases in magnet performance. Images of the microstructures collected by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) reveal a majority α phase with inclusions of secondary αγ phase. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) reveals that the α phase has a spinodally decomposed microstructure of FeCo-rich needles in a NiAl-rich matrix. In the 7.5% Ti composition the diameter distribution of the FeCo needles was bimodal with the majority having diameters of approximately 50 nm with a small fraction having diameters of approximately 10 nm. The needles formed a mosaic pattern and were elongated along one <001> crystal direction (parallel to the field used during magnetic annealing). Cu precipitates were observed between the needles. Regions of abnormal spinodal morphology appeared to correlate with secondary phase precipitates. The presence of these abnormalities did not prevent the material from displaying superior magnetic properties in the 7.5% Ti composition. As a result, higher Ti compositions did not display the preferred spinodal microstructure, explaining their inferior magnetic properties.},
doi = {10.1016/j.jmmm.2016.06.091},
journal = {Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials},
number = C,
volume = 420,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 7
}

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  • The concerns about the supply and resource of rare earth (RE) metals have generated a lot of interests in searching for high performance RE-free permanent magnets. Alnico alloys are traditional non-RE permanent magnets and have received much attention recently due their good performance at high temperature. In this paper, we develop an accurate and efficient cluster expansion energy model for alnico 5–7. Monte Carlo simulations using the cluster expansion method are performed to investigate the structure of alnico 5–7 at atomistic and nano scales. The alnico 5–7 master alloy is found to decompose into FeCo-rich and NiAl-rich phases at lowmore » temperature. The boundary between these two phases is quite sharp (~2 nm) for a wide range of temperature. The compositions of the main constituents in these two phases become higher when the temperature gets lower. Both FeCo-rich and NiAl-rich phases are in B2 ordering with Fe and Al on α-site and Ni and Co on β-site. The degree of order of the NiAl-rich phase is much higher than that of the FeCo-rich phase. In addition, a small magnetic moment is also observed in NiAl-rich phase but the moment reduces as the temperature is lowered, implying that the magnetic properties of alnico 5–7 could be improved by lowering annealing temperature to diminish the magnetism in NiAl-rich phase. Furthermore, the results from our Monte Carlo simulations are consistent with available experimental results.« less
  • We present economic uncertainty in the rare earth (RE) permanent magnet marketplace, as well as in an expanding electric drive vehicle market that favors permanent magnet alternating current synchronous drive motors, motivated renewed research in RE-free permanent magnets like “alnico,” an Al-Ni-Co-Fe alloy. Thus, high-pressure, gas-atomized isotropic type-8H pre-alloyed alnico powder was compression molded with a clean burn-out binder to near-final shape and sintered to density >99% of cast alnico 8 (full density of 7.3 g/cm 3). To produce aligned sintered alnico magnets for improved energy product and magnetic remanence, uniaxial stress was attempted to promote controlled grain growth, avoidingmore » directional solidification that provides alignment in alnico 9. Lastly, successful development of solid-state powder processing may enable anisotropically aligned alnico magnets with enhanced energy density to be mass-produced.« less
  • The concerns about the supply and resource of rare earth (RE) metals have generated a lot of interests in searching for high performance RE-free permanent magnets. Alnico alloys are traditional non-RE permanent magnets and have received much attention recently due their good performance at high temperature. In this paper, we develop an accurate and efficient cluster expansion energy model for alnico 5–7. Monte Carlo simulations using the cluster expansion method are performed to investigate the structure of alnico 5–7 at atomistic and nano scales. The alnico 5–7 master alloy is found to decompose into FeCo-rich and NiAl-rich phases at lowmore » temperature. The boundary between these two phases is quite sharp (∼2 nm) for a wide range of temperature. The compositions of the main constituents in these two phases become higher when the temperature gets lower. Both FeCo-rich and NiAl-rich phases are in B2 ordering with Fe and Al on α-site and Ni and Co on β-site. The degree of order of the NiAl-rich phase is much higher than that of the FeCo-rich phase. A small magnetic moment is also observed in NiAl-rich phase but the moment reduces as the temperature is lowered, implying that the magnetic properties of alnico 5–7 could be improved by lowering annealing temperature to diminish the magnetism in NiAl-rich phase. The results from our Monte Carlo simulations are consistent with available experimental results.« less