Rare Earth elements, largely unknown to the majority of the general public, have become national news in the past decade. The magnet industry has used samarium, neodymium, dysprosium and other rare earths for decades as they are a very important ingredient in magnet design. Many of these magnets have enabled new technologies and are also critical to green initiatives such as wind turbines and hybrid cars.
Most of the material produced in Lupfig stays in Europe. They also send SmCo block to Rochester, NY for fabrication into magnets for industrial and military use as the material is DFARS compliant.
The material produced in China generally stays in China. We have a relationship with a rare earth mine to provide either SmCo alloy or samarium for this facility as well as our other facilities.
We do not believe that any other Western supplier has such a robust supply chain for its SmCo magnet production.
Many of our customers are worried about the future supply of SmCo magnets. We are highly confident that our supply chain will allow us an uninterrupted source of raw materials to comply with the relationships and agreements that we have in place to produce the magnets needed. If requested, we are also able to stock material for our customers
Samarium Cobalt as the Rare Earth Magnet Material of Choice
Samarium cobalt magnets are a great choice when designing motors, generators or sensing systems. Unlike neodymium and even more importantly dysprosium which is used to give neodymium iron boron magnets higher temperature performance, there is an excess of samarium in the rare earth supply chain. We estimate that SmCo magnet usage could almost triple before the supply chain was constrained.
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