Alloy makes motors more efficient

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US researchers have developed a permanent magnet alloy that retains its properties at high temperature

US researchers have developed a permanent magnet alloy that will retain its properties at high temperature. This should allow the production of electric drive motors that are more efficient and cost effective. Iver Anderson, Ames Lab senior metallurgist and Iowa State University adjunct professor of materials science and engineering, said that future 'ultragreen' vehicles such as fully electric cars, fuel-cell automobiles and plug-in hybrids will rely on this kind of technology. Most types of permanent magnet lose a lot of their magnetic energy at modest temperatures and operate at less than half their power by the time they reach 100-125°C. This new breed of magnets would operate with good magnetic strength at 200°C, thanks to an alloy that replaces pure neodymium with a mixed rare earth. A longer article on ways on improve motor efficiency appears in the forthcoming March issue of Eureka