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Microstructural Characterization of Sm-Co Magnets

[+] Author Affiliations
Patricia Iglesias Victoria, Surendra K. Gupta

Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY

Weimin Yin, Steve Constantinides

Arnold Magnetic Technologies Corp., Rochester, NY

Paper No. IMECE2014-37106, pp. V014T11A021; 6 pages
  • ASME 2014 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 14: Emerging Technologies; Engineering Management, Safety, Ethics, Society, and Education; Materials: Genetics to Structures
  • Montreal, Quebec, Canada, November 14–20, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4963-7
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


Samarium cobalt permanent magnets have been widely used for their excellent intrinsic magnetic properties such as very high Curie temperature, high anisotropy fields and most importantly excellent temperature coefficients of induction and coercivity. These materials have continuing industrial interest especially for applications operating at elevated temperatures and in the presence of high demagnetizing fields, such as particle accelerators, high frequency traveling wave tubes (TWTs), servo-motors and automotive and aerospace applications. An area of opportunity for improving performance of SmCo magnets is increasing magnet toughness — resistance to fracture.

Like all other sintered rare earth magnetic materials, SmCo magnets are based on intermetallic compounds which are intrinsically brittle and can crack in the course of fabrication, machine work, and installation in the application. Increased toughness would also reduce handling sensitivity of magnetized magnets. For many years, studies on SmCo magnets have been focused on their magnetic properties, but the mechanical characteristics, strengthening and toughening mechanisms have been rarely reported. Understanding the phase and structural transformations induced in the SmCo magnets during the manufacturing process offers insight into potential modifications — chemical or processing-related. In this study, microstructural characterizations of 1:5 and 2:17 Sm-Co magnets were carried out using optical and scanning electron microscopes. In scanning electron microscopy (SEM), backscattered electron imaging and energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) microanalysis were used to investigate different phases and oxides. Finally, crystal structure of the magnets was studied using an X-ray diffractometer (XRD). The study correlates the microstructure characterization with the thermal processing history of different grades of SmCo magnets.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME
Topics: Magnets



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