Start-up funding for our planned Horizon Europe project: Simulating microstructures and magnetic properties to accelerate the development of sustainable, rare-earth-free permanent magnets (Simumag): The rapid growth of the wind power and electromobility sectors for the transition to a decarbonised economy has resulted in a greatly increased demand for highest performance Nd-Fe-B-based permanent magnets. The long-term sustainability of using global resources of rare earth elements like Nd, Dy and Tb for these magnets at this high rate is questionable and there is therefore a clear need for the development of rare-earth-free permanent magnets. One of the most promising rare-earth-free permanent magnets is MnAl-C. This material has highly suitable intrinsic magnetic properties, low raw materials costs and does not contain any elements, the supply and sustainability of which is deemed to be critical. The major barriers to the application of this material are that the highest maximum energy density product and coercivity, which have been achieved to date, are far below the theoretical upper limits. The reason for this is that the microstructure of the material contains a range of defects which affect the magnetic properties either through their influence on the texture of the material or through their interaction with magnetic domain walls. In this project, a toolchain combining simulations and characterization on multiple length scales and augmented by machine learning techniques will be developed, which will yield accurate predictions of microstructure and magnetic properties as a function of a matrix of processing parameters. These results will elucidate the influence of defects on the magnetic properties of MnAl-C and will accelerate the development of an industrial processing route. The resulting rare-earth-free, sustainable, MnAl-C permanent magnets will be capable of replacing certain types of Nd-Fe-B magnets in a wide range of clean energy applications, such as electric motors, generators and sensors.


Duration 01/01/2022 - 30/03/2022
Funding Bundesländer (inkl. deren Stiftungen und Einrichtungen)

Department for Integrated Sensor Systems

Center for Modelling and Simulation

Principle investigator for the project (University for Continuing Education Krems) Univ.-Doz.Dipl.-Ing.Dr. Thomas Schrefl
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