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Prediction of Diffusion Behaviors Between Liquid Magnesium and Neodymium-Iron-Boron Magnets

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The extraction behavior of the rare earth metal Nd from Nd–Fe–B alloy was investigated using Mg, a typical low-melting-point element. Among the alloy components, Nd has a selective affinity with Mg; thus, Nd was successfully diffused into the Mg at a temperature of 1023 K. This is significantly above the Mg melting point. The Nd diffusion sequence during the solid (Nd–Fe–B)–liquid (Mg) reaction was examined using scanning and transmission electron microscopy, while energy dispersive spectroscopy and X-ray diffractometry were used for the phase characterization. As the liquid Mg encountered the solid Nd–Fe–B, the Nd began to diffuse into the Mg; this was followed by the formation of Nd–Mg compounds within the α-Mg matrix. In addition, the Nd-deficient solid was converted to Fe2B. The Mg infiltration sequence and the reaction mechanism between the phases were also examined. This investigation presents a proposed pyro-metallurgical method for recycling critical rare earths in an energy-conserving and environmentally friendly manner, as an alternative to the conventionally used hydro-metallurgy.
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Keywords: MAGNESIUM; ND–FE–B; NEODYMIUM; RARE-EARTH ELEMENTS; RECYCLING; SELECTIVE EXTRACTION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2016

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  • Science of Advanced Materials (SAM) is an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal consolidating research activities in all aspects of advanced materials in the fields of science, engineering and medicine into a single and unique reference source. SAM provides the means for materials scientists, chemists, physicists, biologists, engineers, ceramicists, metallurgists, theoreticians and technocrats to publish original research articles as reviews with author's photo and short biography, full research articles and communications of important new scientific and technological findings, encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all latest aspects of advanced materials.
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