By Kari Williamson

The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) Materials Research Institute for Sustainable Development's technology could lessen the reliance on Nd-Fe-B based magnets for electric motors used in hybrid and electric vehicles, which contains the increasingly expensive rare earth dyprosium (Dy).

The AIST technology allows the Sm-Fe-N powder to be consolidated and sintered at 400°C at a relative density of 90% or higher, reports the International Powder Metallurgy Directory.

The method uses a pulse electric current sintering process where current pulse is applied to a metal mould containing the powder. As heat is generated very quickly, the holding time is only one minute.