Permanent magnets market are manufactured from a magnetized material that creates its own persistent magnetic field. They are either ferromagnetic or ferrimagnetic. These include cobalt, nickel, iron and alloys of rare earth elements as well as naturally occurring minerals such as lodestone. Unlike temporary magnets such as electromagnets, permanent magnets do not lose their magnetic property unless they are heated above their Curie temperature.
They are industrially manufactured through casting or sintering and are produced from magnetic metallic elements, composites and rare earth materials. Neodymium-iron-boron (NdFeB), samarium cobalt (SmCo), alnico and ferrite are some of the examples of permanent magnets used in the industry. Growth of the automotive industry due to several aspects such as technological advancement, rising population and increasing consumer demand is expected to be one of the primary factors driving the demand for permanent magnets over the next few years.
Furthermore, significant growth of the wind energy generation industry owing to rapid industrialization, rising population and increase in demand for electricity is also expected to boost the permanent magnet industry. However, price volatility of rare earth materials such as dysprosium and neodymium due to ban of Chinese exports of rare earth elements in other regions is anticipated to hamper the growth of the permanent magnets market. Increasing application scope of magnets in HEVs coupled with growing demand for better performing vehicles is expected to open opportunities for the growth of the market over the next few years.
Ferrites were the majorly consumed permanent magnets in the industry in 2012 accounting for over 80% of the global demand. These magnets have been majorly used on account of several key factors such as ease of availability, low price, significant performance properties, rapidly growing industrialization and extensively use of these materials in electronics and household appliances.