Rare earth Nd-Fe-B, a widely used magnet composition, was synthesized in a shape of powders using gas atomization, a rapid solidification based process. The microstructure and properties were investigated in accordance with solidification rate and densification. Detailed microstructural characterization was performed by using scanning electron microscope (SEM) and the structural properties were measured by using X-ray diffraction. Iron in the form of α-Fe phase was observed in powder of about 30 μm. It was expected that fraction of Nd2Fe14B phase increased rapidly with decrease in powder size, on the other hand that of α-Fe phase was decreased. Nd-rich phase diffused from grain boundary to particle boundary after hot deformation due to capillary action. The coercivity of the alloy decreased with increase in powder size. After hot deformation, Nd2Fe14B phase tend to align to c-axis.
Neodymium-Iron-Boron (Nd-Fe-B) magnets are considered to have the highest energy density, and their applications include electric motors, generators, hard disc drives, and MRI. It is well known that a fiber structure with a high aspect ratio and the large specific surface area has the potential to overcome the limitations, such as inhomogeneous structures and the difficulty in alignment of easy axis, associated with such magnets obtained by conventional methods. In this work, a suitable heat-treatment procedure based on single-step and multistep treatments to synthesize sound electrospun Nd-Fe-B-O nanofibers of Φ572 nm was investigated. The single-step heat-treated (directly heat-treated at 800°C for 2 h in air) samples disintegrated along with the residual organic compounds, whereas the multistep heat-treated (sequential three-step heat-treated including three steps;: dehydration (250°C for 30 min in an inert atmosphere), debinding (650°C for 30 min in air), and calcination (800°C for 1 h in air)) fibers maintained sound fibrous morphology without any organic impurities. They could maintain such fibrous morphologies during the dehydration and debinding steps because of the relatively low internal pressures of water vapor and polymer, respectively. In addition, the NdFeO3 alloying phase was dominant in the multistep heat-treated fibers due to the removal of barriers to mass transfer in the interparticles.