Project duration: 1 January 2019 – 31 December 2021


Sintered Nd-Fe-B-type permanent magnets (PM) are essential components of electrical machines that require a high energy product/volume ratio for weight reduction and better reliability. However, to compensate for the decrease in magnets coercivity with temperature, substitution of Nd by heavy rare earths (HRE) is widely used at industrial scale. This approach seriously increases the dependence on these critical raw materials in the EU magnet industry. One limitation of the current production technology is the lack of strip-casted ribbons with optimized microstructure and homogeneity for fine-grained Nd-Fe-B. The proposed optimization of the strip-cast process can boost the development of fine-grained Nd-Fe-B PM’s and allows the extension of the conventional processes beyond their current limits.

The solution (technology)

The goal of the UPGRADE project is to design and achieve a fine microstructure in the strip-cast ribbons that leads to high coercive Nd-Fe-B PM’s. Once the microstructure and homogeneity of the ribbons will be optimized for one or several compositions, the up-scaling and transfer of the strip-casting conditions will be performed. Preliminary results from the UpMagnet fast track project in 2017 have demonstrated the potential coercivity increase achievable with fine-grained Nd-Fe-B magnets based on optimized ribbons. The complete value chain of the magnet industry will be present in the international consortium including research institutes and alloys supplier, a magnet manufacturer and an end-user for assessment.


  • Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives, CEA (French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission), France (Lead Partner)
  • Centro Ricerche Fiat S.C.p.A. (CRF – C.R.F.), Italy
  • Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V. (Fraunhofer), Germany
  • Less Common Metals, United Kingdom
  • Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany
  • Vacuumschmelze, Germany