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Discover how rare earth metals are changing the face of consumer technology!

With world leaders looking to change over to sustainable energy sources within the next 10 or so years, it is vital that these rare earth metals can be mined and made available all across the world. Currently, 80% of America’s supply chain of rare earth metals are owned by China-based companies. In this blog, we’ll look at which rare earth metals are the most vital to the production of our essential products.

Rare earth metals are a group of 17 chemically similar elements crucial to the manufacture of many hi-tech products. Unlike the name suggests, they are abundant in nature but are hazardous and environmentally hostile to extract.

Here we take a look at five rare earth metals and the role they play in our everyday life.

 

  • Neodymium (Nd) - This metal is used to make powerful magnets that can be found in loudspeakers and computer hard drives. It is also a vital part of the production of wind turbines, MRI scanners and hybrid cars.

 

  • Lanthanum (La) - This element is used in camera and telescope lenses. Its compounds are also used extensively in carbon lighting applications such as studio lighting and camera projecting.

 

  • Cerium (Ce) - Catalytic converter engines used in cars contain cerium which enables them to run at high temperatures and plays a crucial part in the process of chemical reactions in the converter. Along with lanthanum, these are also used in the process of refining crude oil.

 

  • Praseodymium (Pr) - A component of a special sort of glass used to make visors to protect welders and glassmakers. It is also used to create strong metals for use in aircraft engines.

 

  • Gadolinium (Gd) - This is used in television screens along with X-Ray machines and MRI scanning systems. Currently, it is being developed into its possible use for refrigeration systems.

With the demand for rare earth metals growing rapidly year on year, world leaders are now scrambling to fund extraction projects. Given the current global demand, it is difficult to see if any companies can survive the long term without much needed financial assistance from their respective governments.

Examples of rare earth materials used within Tytek Industries are the well-known application of NdFeB magnets present in starter motors for GM trucks, as they effectively reduce the size and weight of the starter motors by two thirds. Also, SmCo which is Samarium cobalt is often used in micro motor applications such as camera motors.

The latest rare earth magnets based on Neodymium (Nd) also include percentages of Praseodymium (Pr), Dysprosium (Dy), Lanthanum (La) and in some, Yttrium (Y), in their recipes.

To find out more about Rare Earth metals and the vital difference they could make to your product innovations, contact a TyTek Industries Expert today.