What is Co-reduction?
SmCo (Samarium-Cobalt) alloy powders are a type of rare-earth magnet material. They are produced through a process called co-reduction, which involves the reaction of mixed oxide with a reductant metal at elevated temperatures by induction melting. The resulting alloy is then crushed and milled to produce a fine powder with particle sizes typically 500 microns and below.
The co-reduction process involves heating the mixed oxide and reductant metal together until they melt and react, forming the desired SmCo alloy. The molten alloy is then cooled and solidified, after which it is crushed and milled to produce the powder.
LCM is one of a few manufacturers globally producing SmCo alloy powders using the solid-state co-reduction process. This process involves the diffusion of atoms through the solid state, resulting in the formation of the desired alloy. The co-reduction process is advantageous because it produces a more homogeneous and fine-grained powder than other methods, resulting in improved magnetic properties and performance in the final magnet product.