"Recycled functionalized performance" (RecyPer)
Efficient recycling technologies for rare earth (RE) permanent magnets such as Nd-Fe-B have been developed in recent years, also against the background of the rare earth crisis in 2011. Although returning magnetic material to the production cycle would not only reduce the supply risk in Europe but also lead to more sustainably produced magnets, an industrial implementation has not yet taken place. This is partly due to the quantitative and qualitative dynamics of waste magnet flows. In the RecyPer project, mixed waste magnet flows are converted into new magnets using various recycling technologies. By adjusting the process engineering parameters for the preparation of the recycled magnet stream and by varying the mixing ratio between recycled material and primary material, recycled magnets with defined specifications are produced independently of the composition of the input stream. A property portfolio for recycled Nd-Fe-B magnets is being developed in order to establish fixed manufacturing procedures for five different magnet types independent of the composition of the input stream. These recycled magnets will be integrated into the following demonstrators: (1) magnetic foils for design and advertising purposes, (2) high-end loudspeakers, (3) magnetic holders for toys and cosmetic products, (4) motor for an automated electric lawnmower, and (5) motor for a pedelec. The demonstrators with built-in recycled permanent magnets will have the same performance characteristics as their original counterparts with primary material. The goal is to demonstrate to potential project partners and customers that efficient recycling technologies are available and that recycled magnets can be used for their application. Besides increasing the sustainability of their products, this would also bring cost advantages for the companies.