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Building a Crisis-proof Supply Chain for Rare Earth Magnets
Adapted snorkelling masks, unicorn-costumes, empty plastic bottles…people around the world have come up with a lot of creative ideas on how to address the recent lack of medical face masks. For the wider population, these alternatives may still offer a certain degree of protection. For medical staff dealing with infected patients on a day-to-day basis however, the temporary unavailability of certified equipment constitutes a serious problem. The current COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated dramatically, how critical supply chain management and the maintenance of a constant flow of supplies is. And this does not just apply to medical equipment. Among others, car manufacturers have also stopped production, as material flows from countries strongly affected by the virus have slowed down. It has become apparent that our global supply chains are vulnerable and can be easily disrupted.
In this context, the Horizon 2020 project SUSMAGPRO offers a solution. Within the project, a consortium of 19 European partners from academia and industry, coordinated by Pforzheim University, is working on developing a recycling supply chain for rare earth magnets and demonstrating the effective reuse of recycled material within several industries. The range of products includes motors of electric cars, water pumps, loudspeakers and wind turbines.
The institute of polymer processing is responsible for the development, optimization and characterisation of polymer-NdFeB compounds for extrusion and injection mounding to be used in the production of sintered and bonded magnets.
SUSMAGPRO has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 821114.