2016 is a big year for Honda. The Japanese automaker has recently co-developed the first-ever hybrid vehicle motor magnet that utilizes no heavy rare earth elements. The revolutionary technology, developed with Daido Steel Co., will be fitted to the next Freed minivan which is slated to go on sale this fall.
Honda stressed that the hot deformed neodymium magnet does not have heavy rare earth elements and features high heat resistance properties and high magnetic performance needed for use in the driving motor of a hybrid vehicle.
Neodymium magnets are categorized as one of the most robust permanent magnets in the globe. Until now, these magnets have been utilized in a number of electronic devices including hard disk drives. However, one of the huge disadvantages of regular neodymium magnets is that they do not have high heat resistance.
In electric motors, good amount of heat is produced during the operation, making neodymium magnets unsuitable for this application. A solution to this problem is adding heavy rare earth elements such as dysprosium and/or terbium to enhance heat resistance. However, adding these heavy rare earth elements can be difficult due to uneven distribution and the huge costs involved in the procurement. This has been by far one of the huge challenges of applying neodymium magnets in motors of electric and hybrid vehicles.
Daido Electronics, Daido Steel’s subsidiary, has been mass-producing neodymium magnets utilizing the hot deformation method, which differs from the typical sintering production method for neodymium magnets. The process entails hot-deformation method wherein nano-meter scale crystal grains will be well-aligned to realize a fine crystal grain structure. This structure is around ten times smaller than regular neodymium magnets and is possible to produce with high resistance. The resultant magnets are high in heat but do not contain heavy rare earth metals and as claimed by Honda, are suitable for use in the motors of EVs.
With the newest development, Honda and Daido Steel are confident that the demand for these new types of neodymium magnets will grow significantly in the coming years.
Honda concluded that they will employ a motor fitted with neodymium magnets which will go on to the hybrid system of the new Freed and will continue the development of new technology and applications in newer models.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
© 2017 Morjan Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.