British AI develops rare earth-free magnet

British AI develops rare earth-free magnet

AI Magnet

A British firm has developed a new magnet utterly free of rare earth minerals, potentially revolutionizing the production of clean energy technologies. Materials Nexus, the firm behind this innovation, achieved the breakthrough using artificial intelligence (AI) in just three months, vastly speeding up a process that traditionally relies on slow, trial-and-error methods. Permanent magnets are critical components in technologies such as wind turbines, robots, and electric vehicles (EVs).

As the world shifts towards clean energy, the demand for these magnets is expected to increase dramatically. Rare earth magnets, primarily made of minerals like neodymium and dysprosium, are central to current magnet technology but pose significant challenges, including their rarity, environmental impact, and geopolitical supply chain vulnerabilities. Materials Nexus’s AI platform evaluated over 100 million compositions of rare earth-free permanent magnet candidates, addressing key industry challenges related to cost, performance, and environmental impact.

Ai speeds up magnet discovery.

The resulting magnet, dubbed MagNex, can be produced at a fifth of the material cost and with a 70% reduction in carbon emissions compared to conventional magnets. The current industry standard permanent magnet took decades to discover and even longer to develop into the products we use today,” a company spokesperson said.

By leveraging AI, Materials Nexus has significantly shortened this timeline. The company collaborated with the Henry Royce Institute and the University of Sheffield to develop and test the new magnet. The combination of Materials Nexus’s AI-driven materials discovery and the advanced manufacturing facilities at the Henry Royce Institute here in Sheffield has allowed us to develop a novel magnetic material with breathtaking speed,” said Iain Todd, a professor of metallurgy and materials processing at the University of Sheffield.

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He highlighted that this achievement could herald a promising materials science and manufacturing future. The development of MagNex exemplifies the transformative potential of AI in material science, providing hope for more sustainable industrial practices and cleaner energy solutions in the future.


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