REProMag offered a highly innovative combination of applied research, technology development and integration and demonstration of concept. The project opened up completely new perspectives for an efficient and innovative production of RE magnets, a sustainable utilisation of (critical) raw materials while enabling a shift of paradigms due to the radically new application fields where REProMag –complex shape & structure- RE magnets could have been implemented. REProMag offered a comprehensive approach covering the complete life-cycle of RE magnets, from usage of 100% recycled feedstock, production of RE-magnets with complex geometries, to application in new fields and, lastly, the recycling process and new utilisation of raw materials. The project approach was summarised as follows:
- Development and tests of RE-powders and feedstock based on recycled RE-material
- Development and tests of shaping methods and machinery (metal injection moulding and 3D printing), as well as the alignment systems for geometrically complex magnets
- Development and tests of debinding and sintering regimes (processing techniques for hard magnets) as well as innovative coating methods
- Building and testing of 5 magnetic demonstrators from real applications
- Health, environmental and economical assessment (Life Cycle Assessment and Life Cycle Costs) of the whole manufacturing route
In order to accomplish these challenging tasks, the REProMag consortium brought together the leading scientific experts in RE magnets, powder processing, state of the art materials characterisation including pulsed field magnetometry for complex shapes at operational temperatures, additive manufacturing, powder injection moulding and sintering with a group of 6 innovative SMEs and 2 end-users.