Recycling of Sintered NdFeB Magnet Waste via Oxidative Roasting and Selective Leaching

Neodymium-iron-boron (NdFeB) magnets classified as high-power magnets are widely used in various applications such as automotive, electrical and medical devices. Because significant amounts of rare earth metals will be subjected to shortages in the future, therefore domestic NdFeB magnet waste recycling should therefore be developed in order to reduce social and environmental impacts towards a circular economy. Each type of wastes has different characteristics and compositions. As a result, these directly affect recycling efficiency as well as types and purity of the recyclable products. This research, therefore, focused on the recycling of manufacturing NdFeB magnet waste obtained from the sintering stage of magnet production and the waste contained 23.6% Nd, 60.3% Fe and 0.261% B in order to recover high purity neodymium oxide (Nd2O3) using hybrid metallurgical process via oxidative roasting and selective leaching techniques. The sintered NdFeB waste was first ground to under 70 mesh prior to oxidative roasting at 550–800 oC to enable selective leaching of neodymium in the subsequent leaching step using H2SO4 at 2.5 M over 24 h. The leachate was then subjected to drying and roasting at 700–800 oC prior to precipitation by oxalic acid and calcination to obtain Nd2O3 as the recycling product. According to XRD analyses, it was found that increasing oxidative roasting temperature led to an increasing amount of hematite (Fe2O3) as the main composition with a smaller amount of magnetite (Fe3O4) found. Peaks of Nd2O3 were also observed in a lesser amount. Furthermore, neodymium iron oxide (NdFeO3) was present and its XRD peaks were pronounced at higher oxidative roasting temperatures. When proceeded to acid leaching and drying, iron sulfate and neodymium sulfate were mainly obtained. After the roasting step prior to water leaching, iron sulfate was converted to form Fe2O3 as the main compound, while neodymium sulfate remained in the ingredient. However, a small amount of Fe3O4 was still detected by XRD. The higher roasting temperature at 800 oC resulted in a greater Fe2O3 to Nd2(SO4)3 ratio, indicating a more effective roasting temperature. Iron oxides were subsequently water leached and filtered out while the solution contained mainly neodymium sulfate. Therefore, low oxidative roasting temperature not exceeding 600 oC followed by acid leaching and roasting at 800 oC gave the optimum condition for further steps of precipitation and calcination to finally achieve Nd2O3.

Production of Spherical Cementite within Bainitic Matrix Microstructures in High Carbon Powder Metallurgy Steels

The hardness-microstructure relationships of spherical cementite in bainitic matrix obtained by a different heat treatment cycles carried out to high carbon powder metallurgy (P/M) steel were investigated. For this purpose, 1.5 wt.% natural graphite powder admixed in atomized iron powders and the mixed powders were compacted under 700 MPa at room temperature and then sintered at 1150 °C under a protective argon gas atmosphere. The densities of the green and sintered samples were measured via the Archimedes method. A density of 7.4 g/cm3 was obtained after sintering and a density of 94% was achieved. The sintered specimens having primary cementite plus lamellar pearlitic structures were fully quenched from 950 °C temperature and then over-tempered at 705 °C temperature for 60 minutes to produce spherical-fine cementite particles in the ferritic matrix. After by this treatment, these samples annealed at 735 °C temperature for 3 minutes were austempered at 300 °C salt bath for a period of 1 to 5 hours. As a result of this process, it could be able to produced spherical cementite particle in the bainitic matrix. This microstructure was designed to improve wear and toughness of P/M steels. The microstructures were characterized and analyzed by SEM and micro and macro hardness.

Preparation and Characterization of Organic Silver Precursors for Conductive Ink

Low ink sintering temperature is desired for flexible electronics, as it would widen the application of the ink on temperature-sensitive substrates where the selection of silver precursor is very critical. In this paper, four types of organic silver precursors, silver carbonate, silver oxalate, silver tartrate and silver itaconate, were synthesized using an ion exchange method, firstly. Various characterization methods were employed to investigate their physical phase, chemical composition, morphologies and thermal decomposition behavior. It was found that silver oxalate had the ideal thermal property and showed the lowest decomposition temperature. An ink was then formulated by complexing the as-prepared silver oxalate with ethylenediamine in organic solvents. Results show that a favorable conductive film with a uniform surface structure consisting of silver nanoparticles and few voids could be produced from the ink at a sintering temperature of 150 °C.

Development of a Biomaterial from Naturally Occurring Chloroapatite Mineral for Biomedical Applications

Hydroxyapatite is a bioceramic which can be used for applications in orthopedics and dentistry due to its structural similarity with the mineral phase of mammalian bones and teeth. In this study, it was synthesized, chemically changing natural Eppawala chloroapatite mineral as a value-added product. Sol-gel approach and solid state sintering were used to synthesize products using diluted nitric acid, ethanol and calcium hydroxide under different conditions. Synthesized Eppawala hydroxyapatite powder was characterized using X-ray Fluorescence (XRF), X-ray Powder Diffraction (XRD), Fourier-transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA) and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) in order to find out its composition, crystallinity, presence of functional groups, bonding type, surface morphology, microstructural features, and thermal dependence and stability, respectively. The XRD results reflected the formation of a hexagonal crystal structure of hydroxyapatite. Elementary composition and microstructural features of products were discussed based on the XRF and SEM results of the synthesized hydroxyapatite powder. TGA and DSC results of synthesized products showed high thermal stability and good material stability in nature. Also, FTIR spectroscopy results confirmed the formation of hydroxyapatite from apatite via the presence of hydroxyl groups. Those results coincided with the FTIR results of mammalian bones including human bones. The study concludes that there is a possibility of producing hydroxyapatite using commercially available Eppawala chloroapatite in Sri Lanka.

Sintering of Composite Ceramic based on Corundum with Additive in the Al2O3-TiO2-MnO System

In this paper, the effect of the additive content in the Al2O3-TiO2-MnO system on the sintering of composite ceramics based on corundum was studied. The samples were pressed by uniaxial semi-dry pressing under 100 MPa and sintered at 1500 °С and 1550 °С. The properties of composite ceramics for porosity and flexural strength were studied. When the amount of additives increases, the properties of composite ceramic samples are better than samples without additives.

Influence of Ball Milling Time on Mechanical Properties of Porous Ti-20Nb-5Ag Alloy

Titanium and its alloys have become more significant implant materials due to their mechanical properties, excellent biocompatibility and high corrosion resistance. Biomaterials can be produce by using the powder metallurgy (PM) methods and required properties can tailored by varying the processing parameters, such as ball milling time, space holder particles, and sintering temperature. The desired properties such as, structural and mechanical properties can be obtained by powder metallurgy method.  In the present study, deals with fabrication of solid and porous Ti-20Nb-5Ag alloy using high energy ball milling for different times (5 and 20 h). The resultant powder particles were used to fabricate solid and porous Ti-20Nb-5Ag alloy by adding space holder particles (NH4HCO3). The resultant powder particles, fabricated solid and porous samples were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The compressive strength, elastic modulus and microhardness properties were investigated. Solid and porous Ti-20Nb-5Ag alloy samples showed good mechanical properties for 20 h ball milling time as compare to 5 h ball milling.

Fiber-Reinforced Sandwich Structures Based on Selective Laser Sintering: A Technological View

The demand for an increasing diversification of the product spectrum associated with the current huge customization desire and subsequently the decreasing unit quantities of each production lot is gaining more and more importance within a great variety of industrial branches, e.g. automotive industry. Nevertheless, traditional product development and production processes (molding, extrusion) are already reaching their limits or fail to address these trends of a flexible and digitized production in view of a product variability up to lot size one. Thus, upcoming innovative production concepts like the additive manufacturing technology basically create new opportunities with regard to extensive potentials in product development (constructive optimization) and manufacturing (economic individualization), but mostly suffer from insufficient strength regarding structural components. Therefore, this contribution presents an innovative technological and procedural conception of a hybrid additive manufacturing process (fiber-reinforced sandwich structures based on selective laser sintering technology) to overcome these current structural weaknesses, and consequently support the design of complex lightweight components.

Effect of Manganese Doping on Ferrroelectric Properties of (K0.485Na0.5Li0.015)(Nb0.98V0.02)O3 Lead-Free Piezoceramic

Alkaline niobate (Na0.5K0.5)NbO3 ceramic system has attracted major attention in view of its potential for replacing the highly toxic but superior lead zirconate titanate (PZT) system for piezoelectric applications. Recently, a more detailed study of this system reveals that the ferroelectric and piezoelectric properties are optimized in the Li- and V-modified system having the composition (K0.485Na0.5Li0.015)(Nb0.98V0.02)O3. In the present work, we further study the pyroelectric behaviour of this composition along with another doped with Mn4+. So, (K0.485Na0.5Li0.015)(Nb0.98V0.02)O3 + x MnO2 (x = 0, and 0.01 wt. %) ceramic compositions were synthesized by conventional ceramic processing route. X-ray diffraction study reveals that both the undoped and Mn4+-doped ceramic samples prepared crystallize into a perovskite structure having orthorhombic symmetry. Dielectric study indicates that Mn4+ doping has little effect on both the Curie temperature (Tc) and tetragonal-orthorhombic phase transition temperature (Tot). The bulk density, room-temperature dielectric constant (εRT), and room-c The room-temperature coercive field (Ec) is observed to be lower in Mn4+ doped sample. The detailed analysis of the P-E hysteresis loops over the range of temperature from about room temperature to Tot points out that enhanced ferroelectric properties exist in this temperature range with better thermal stability for the Mn4+ doped ceramic. The study reveals that small traces of Mn4+ can modify (K0.485Na0.5Li0.015)(Nb0.98V0.02)O3 system so as to improve its ferroelectric properties with good thermal stability over a wide range of temperature.

Sintering Properties of Mechanically Alloyed Ti-5Al-2.5Fe

In this study, Ti-5Al-2.5Fe alloy was prepared by powder metallurgy. The elemental titanium, aluminum, and iron powders were mechanically alloyed for 10 h in a vacuum atmosphere. A stainless steel jar and stainless steel balls were used for mechanical alloying. The alloyed powders were then sintered by vacuum hot pressing at 950 °C for a soaking time of 30 minutes. Pure titanium was also sintered at the same conditions for comparison of mechanical properties and microstructural behavior. The samples were investigated by scanning electron microscopy, XRD analysis, and optical microscopy. Results showed that, after mechanical alloying, a homogeneous distribution of the elements was obtained, and desired a-b structure was determined. Ti-5Al-2.5Fe alloy was successfully produced, and the alloy showed enhanced mechanical properties compared to the commercial pure titanium.

Metallurgy of Friction Welding of Porous Stainless Steel-Solid Iron Billets

The research work reported here was aimed at investigating the feasibility of joining high-porosity stainless steel discs and wrought iron bars by friction welding. The sound friction-welded joints were then subjected to a metallurgical investigation and an analysis of failure resulting from tensile loading. Discs having 50 mm diameter and 10 mm thickness were produced by loose sintering of stainless steel powder at a temperature of 1350 oC in an argon atmosphere for one hour. Minor machining was then carried out to control the dimensions of the discs, and the density of each disc could then be determined. The level of porosity was calculated and was found to be about 40% in all of those discs. Solid wrought iron bars were also machined to facilitate tensile testing of the joints produced by friction welding. Using our previously gained experience, the porous stainless steel disc and the wrought iron tube were successfully friction welded. SEM was employed to examine the fracture surface after a tensile test of the joint in order to determine the type of failure. It revealed that the failure did not occur in the joint, but rather in the in the porous metal in the area adjacent to the joint. The load carrying capacity was actually determined by the strength of the porous metal and not by that of the welded joint. Macroscopic and microscopic metallographic examinations were also performed and showed that the welded joint involved a dense heat-affected zone where the porous metal underwent densification at elevated temperature, explaining and supporting the findings of the SEM study.

Hydrogen Permeability of BSCY Proton-Conducting Perovskite Membrane

Perovskite-type membrane Ba0.5Sr0.5Ce0.9Y0.1O3-δ (BSCY) was successfully synthesized by liquid citrate method. The hydrogen permeation and stability of BSCY perovskite-type membranes were studied at high temperatures. The phase structure of the powder was characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD). Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to characterize microstructures of the membrane sintered under various conditions. SEM results showed that increasing in sintering temperature, formed dense membrane with clear grains. XRD results for BSCY membrane that sintered in 1150 °C indicated single phase perovskite structure with orthorhombic configuration, and SEM results showed dense structure with clear grain size which is suitable for permeation tests. Partial substitution of Sr with Ba in SCY structure improved the hydrogen permeation flux through the membrane due to the larger ionic radius of Ba2+. BSCY membrane shows high hydrogen permeation flux of 1.6 ml/min.cm2 at 900 °C and partial pressure of 0.6.

Dependence of Densification, Hardness and Wear Behaviors of Ti6Al4V Powders on Sintering Temperature

The sintering step in powder metallurgy (P/M) processes is very sensitive as it determines to a large extent the properties of the final component produced. Spark plasma sintering over the past decade has been extensively used in consolidating a wide range of materials including metallic alloy powders. This novel, non-conventional sintering method has proven to be advantageous offering full densification of materials, high heating rates, low sintering temperatures, and short sintering cycles over conventional sintering methods. Ti6Al4V has been adjudged the most widely used α+β alloy due to its impressive mechanical performance in service environments, especially in the aerospace and automobile industries being a light metal alloy with the capacity for fuel efficiency needed in these industries. The P/M route has been a promising method for the fabrication of parts made from Ti6Al4V alloy due to its cost and material loss reductions and the ability to produce near net and intricate shapes. However, the use of this alloy has been largely limited owing to its relatively poor hardness and wear properties. The effect of sintering temperature on the densification, hardness, and wear behaviors of spark plasma sintered Ti6Al4V powders was investigated in this present study. Sintering of the alloy powders was performed in the 650–850°C temperature range at a constant heating rate, applied pressure and holding time of 100°C/min, 50 MPa and 5 min, respectively. Density measurements were carried out according to Archimedes’ principle and microhardness tests were performed on sectioned as-polished surfaces at a load of 100gf and dwell time of 15 s. Dry sliding wear tests were performed at varied sliding loads of 5, 15, 25 and 35 N using the ball-on-disc tribometer configuration with WC as the counterface material. Microstructural characterization of the sintered samples and wear tracks were carried out using SEM and EDX techniques. The density and hardness characteristics of sintered samples increased with increasing sintering temperature. Near full densification (99.6% of the theoretical density) and Vickers’ micro-indentation hardness of 360 HV were attained at 850°C. The coefficient of friction (COF) and wear depth improved significantly with increased sintering temperature under all the loading conditions examined, except at 25 N indicating better mechanical properties at high sintering temperatures. Worn surface analyses showed the wear mechanism was a synergy of adhesive and abrasive wears, although the former was prevalent.

Investigation of the Cooling and Uniformity Effectiveness in a Sinter Packed Bed

When sinters are filled into the cooler from the sintering machine, and the non-uniform distribution of the sinters leads to uneven cooling. This causes the temperature difference of the sinters leaving the cooler to be so large that it results in the conveyors being deformed by the heat. The present work applies CFD method to investigate the thermo flowfield phenomena in a sinter cooler by the Porous Media Model. Using the obtained experimental data to simulate porosity (Ε), permeability (κ), inertial coefficient (F), specific heat (Cp) and effective thermal conductivity (keff) of the sinter packed beds. The physical model is a similar geometry whose Darcy numbers (Da) are similar to the sinter cooler. Using the Cooling Index (CI) and Uniformity Index (UI) to analyze the thermo flowfield in the sinter packed bed obtains the cooling performance of the sinter cooler.

Investigation of Ceramic-Metal Composites Produced by Electroless Ni Plating of AlN- Astaloy Cr-M

The microstructure, mechanical properties and metalgraphic characteristics of Ni plated AlN-Astaloy Cr-M powders were investigated using specimens produced by tube furnace sintering at 1000-1400 °C temperature. A uniform nickel layer on AlN powders was deposited prior to sintering using electroless plating technique. A composite consisting of ternary additions, metallic phase, Ni and ceramic phase AlN within a matrix of Astaloy Cr-M had been prepared under Ar shroud and then tube furnace sintered. The experimental results carried out by using XRD (X-Ray Diffraction) and SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope) for composition (10% AlN-Astaloy Cr-M) 10% Ni at 1400 °C suggest that the best properties as 132.45HB and permittivity were obtained at 1400 °C.

Reinforcement of Calcium Phosphate Cement with E-Glass Fibre

Calcium Phosphate Cement (CPC) due to its high bioactivity and optimum bioresorbability shows excellent bone regeneration capability. Despite it has limited applications as bone implant due to its macro-porous microstructure causing its poor mechanical strength. The reinforcement of apatitic CPCs with biocompatible fibre glass phase is an attractive area of research to improve upon its mechanical strength. Here, we study the setting behaviour of Si-doped and un-doped α tri calcium phosphate (α - TCP) based CPC and its reinforcement with addition of E-glass fibre. Alpha Tri calcium phosphate powders were prepared by solid state sintering of CaCO3 , CaHPO4 and Tetra Ethyl Ortho Silicate (TEOS) was used as silicon source to synthesize Si doped α-TCP powders. Both initial and final setting time of the developed cement was delayed because of Si addition. Crystalline phases of HA (JCPDS 9- 432), α-TCP (JCPDS 29-359) and β-TCP (JCPDS 9-169) were detected in the X-ray diffraction (XRD) pattern after immersion of CPC in simulated body fluid (SBF) for 0 hours to 10 days. As Si incorporation in the crystal lattice stabilized the TCP phase, Si doped CPC showed little slower rate of conversion into HA phase as compared to un-doped CPC. The SEM image of the microstructure of hardened CPC showed lower grain size of HA in un-doped CPC because of premature setting and faster hydrolysis of un-doped CPC in SBF as compared that in Si-doped CPC. Premature setting caused generation of micro and macro porosity in un-doped CPC structure which resulted in its lower mechanical strength as compared to that in Si-doped CPC. It was found that addition of 10 wt% of E-glass fibre into Si-doped α-TCP increased the average DTS of CPC from 8 MPa to 15 MPa as the fibres could resists the propagation of crack by deflecting the crack tip. Our study shows that biocompatible E-glass fibre in optimum proportion in CPC matrix can enhance the mechanical strength of CPC without affecting its biocompatibility. 

Microwave Sintering and Its Application on Cemented Carbides

Cemented carbides, owing to their excellent mechanical properties, have been of immense interest in the field of hard materials for the past few decades. A number of processing techniques have been developed to obtain high quality carbide tools, with a wide range of grain size depending on the application and requirements. Microwave sintering is one of the heating processes, which has been used to prepare a wide range of materials including ceramics. A deep understanding of microwave sintering and its contribution towards control of grain growth and on deformation of the resulting carbide materials requires further studies and attention. In addition, the effect of binder materials and their behavior during microwave sintering is another area that requires clear understanding. This review aims to focus on microwave sintering, providing information of how the process works and what type of materials it is best suited for. In addition, a closer look at some microwave sintered Tungsten Carbide-Cobalt samples will be taken and discussed, highlighting some of the key issues and challenges faced in this research area.

New Highly-Scalable Carbon Nanotube-Reinforced Glasses and Ceramics

We report herein the development and preliminary mechanical characterization of fully-dense multi-wall carbon nanotube (MWCNT)-reinforced ceramics and glasses based on a completely new methodology termed High Shear Compaction (HSC). The tubes are introduced and bound to the matrix grains by aid of polymeric binders to form flexible green bodies which are sintered and densified by spark plasma sintering to unprecedentedly high densities of 100% of the pure-matrix value. The strategy was validated across a PyrexTM glass / MWCNT composite while no identifiable factors limit application to other types of matrices. Nondestructive evaluation, based on ultrasonics, of the dynamic mechanical properties of the materials including elastic, shear and bulk modulus as well as Poisson’s ratio showed optimum property improvement at 0.5 %wt tube loading while evidence of nanoscalespecific energy dissipative characteristics acting complementary to nanotube bridging and pull-out indicate a high potential in a wide range of reinforcing and multifunctional applications. 

Characterization of Sintered Fe-Cr-Mn Powder Mixtures Containing Intermetallics

Intermetallic materials are among advanced technology materials that have outstanding mechanical and physical properties for high temperature applications. Especially creep resistance, low density and high hardness properties stand out in such intermetallics. The microstructure, mechanical properties of %88Ni- %10Cr and %2Mn powders were investigated using specimens produced by tube furnace sintering at 900-1300°C temperature. A composite consisting of ternary additions, a metallic phase, Fe, Cr and Mn have been prepared under Ar shroud and then tube furnace sintered. XRD, SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope), were investigated to characterize the properties of the specimens. Experimental results carried out for composition %88Ni-%10Cr and %2Mn at 1300°C suggest that the best properties as 138,80HV and 6,269/cm3 density were obtained at 1300°C.

Rapid Processing Techniques Applied to Sintered Nickel Battery Technologies for Utility Scale Applications

Through use of novel modern/rapid processing techniques such as screen printing and Near-Infrared (NIR) radiative curing, process time for the sintering of sintered nickel plaques, applicable to alkaline nickel battery chemistries, has been drastically reduced from in excess of 200 minutes with conventional convection methods to below 2 minutes using NIR curing methods. Steps have also been taken to remove the need for forming gas as a reducing agent by implementing carbon as an in-situ reducing agent, within the ink formulation.

Effect of Chromium Behavior on Mechanical and Electrical Properties of P/M Copper-Chromium Alloy Dispersed with VGCF

Microstructural and electrical properties of Cu-chromium alloy (Cu-Cr) dispersed with vapor-grown carbon fiber (VGCF) prepared by powder metallurgy (P/M) process have been investigated. Cu-0.7 mass% Cr pre-alloyed powder (Cu-Cr) made by water atomization process was used as raw materials, which contained solid solute Cr elements in Cu matrix. The alloy powder coated with un-bundled VGCF by using oil coating process was consolidated at 1223 K in vacuum by spark plasma sintering, and then extruded at 1073 K. The extruded Cu-Cr alloy (monolithic alloy) had 209.3 MPa YS and 80.4 IACS% conductivity. The extruded Cu-Cr with 0.1 mass% VGCF composites revealed a small decrease of YS compared to the monolithic Cu-Cr alloy. On the other hand, the composite had a higher electrical conductivity than that of the monolithic alloy. For example, Cu-Cr with 0.1 mass% VGCF composite sintered for 5 h showed 182.7 MPa YS and 89.7 IACS% conductivity. In the case of Cu-Cr with VGCFs composites, the Cr concentration was observed around VGCF by SEM-EDS analysis, where Cr23C6 compounds were detected by TEM observation. The amount of Cr solid solution in the matrix of the Cu-Cr composites alloy was about 50% compared to the monolithic Cu-Cr sintered alloy, and resulted in the remarkable increment of the electrical conductivity.