Research and development of high performance permanent magnets and technologies is a rather complex subject that requires large scale and long-term investments. The subject is also truly multidisciplinary and requires expertise from different disciplines including physics, chemistry, materials science and engineering both in theory and experiment. The novelty of this proposal is the use of theoretical modelling tools to discover/develop advanced rare earth-free/lean permanent magnets. For this, a consortium with interdisciplinary expertise is put together to undertake an integrative and concerted effort to provide the fundamental innovations and breakthroughs that are needed to design/predict theoretically new phases and microstructures required for the development and application of advanced permanent magnets without the use of critical raw materials (CRM).
The proposed computational materials design procedure via an automated high-throughput screening of a set of alloys including these elements will allow for a systematic search for new alloys with uniaxial structures to achieve high coercivity levels Hc> 500 kA/m and energy products (BH)m> 200 kJ/m3.
NOVAMAG will also advance the state-of-the-art in permanent magnets by designing special microstructures, which to date focuses on a limited number of readily accessible microstructures employing time-consuming procedures. New systems will be investigated by different high through put screening techniques and micromagnetic simulations.
In addition, the project will build on theoretical and simulation advances on the influence of key microstructural features such as grain size, defects, and hard magnetic shells on the hysteresis properties of permanent magnets through computational micromagnetics.
The research will focus on the development of novel permanent magnets, by design, made from sustainable resources by an eco-efficient cycle, with attention to each step of production from large scale computational screenings, to raw material pre-treatment, to synthesis, to extraction and processing. The process developed for the computational driven new alloys should be easily adaptable to industry for its easy upscale and rapid up taking. Finally, the characterisation of the resulting NOVAMAG magnets will be carried out to evaluate the potential for its use in markets, such as, automotive components for the “green car” and Wind Mills.