Title of Invention

FUNCTIONALLY GRADED RARE EARTH PERMANENT MAGNET

Abstract A functionally graded rare earth permanent magnet is in the form of a sintered magnet body having a composition R¹aR²bTcAdFeOfMg wherein the concentration of R²/(R¹+R²) contained in grain boundaries surrounding primary phase grains of (R1, R²)²T14A tetragonal system within the sintered magnet body is on the average higher than the concentration of R²/(R¹+R²) contained in the primary phase grains, R² is distributed such that its concentration increases on the average from the center toward the surface of the magnet body, the oxyfluoride of (R¹, R²) is present at grain boundaries in a grain boundary region that extends from the magnet body surface to a depth of at least 20 μm, and the magnet body includes a surface layer having a higher coercive force than in the interior. The Permanent magnet of the invention has a magnetic structure that the coercive force of a surface layer is higher than in the interior, and efficiently improved heat resistance.
Full Text FORM 2
THE PATENT ACT 197 0 (39 of 1970)
&

The Patents Rules, 2003
COMPLETE SPECIFICATION
(See Section 10, and rule 13)
1. TITLE OF INVENTION
FUNCTIONALLY GRADED RARE EARTH PERMANENT MAGNET

2. APPLICANT(S)
a) Name :
b) Nationality :
c) Address :

SHIN-ETSU CHEMICAL CO., LTD
JAPANESE Company
6-1, OTEMACHI 2-CHOME,
CHIYODA-KU, TOKYO,
JAPAN

3. PREAMBLE TO THE DESCRIPTION
The following specification particularly describes the invention and the manner in which it is to be performed : -

TITLE OF THE INVENTION Functionally Graded Rare Earth Permanent Magnet
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates to high-performance rare earth permanent magnets having a graded function that a surface layer has a higher coercive force than the interior, and efficiently improved heat resistance.
BACKGROUND ART
Because of excellent magnetic properties, Nd-Fe-B permanent magnets find an ever increasing range of application. To meet the recent concern about the environmental problem, the range of utilization of magnets has spread to cover household appliances, industrial equipment, electric automobiles and wind power generators. This requires further improvements in performance of Nd-Fe-B magnets.
The coercive force of Nd-Fe-B magnets declines as the temperature rises - The service temperature of a magnet is thus restricted by the magnitude of coercive force and the permeance of a magnetic circuit. A magnet must have a fully high coercive force in order that the magnet serve at elevated temperature. With respect to the increase of coercive force, there have been proposed many approaches including refinement of crystal grains, use of alloy compositions with increased Nd contents, and addition of effective elements. The current most common approach is to
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use alloy compositions in which Nd is partially replaced by Dy or Tb. By substituting Dy or Tb for some Nd in Nd2Fe14B compound, the compound is increased in both anisotropic magnetic field and coercive force. On the other hand, the substitution with Dy or Tb results in the compound having reduced saturation magnetic polarization. Therefore, as long as it is intended to increase the coercive force by this approach, a lowering of remanence is inevitable.
Japanese Patent No. 3,471,876 discloses a rare earth magnet having improved corrosion resistance, comprising at least one rare earth element R, which is obtained by effecting fluorinating treatment in a fluoride gas atmosphere or an atmosphere containing a fluoride gas, to form an RF3 compound or an ROxFy compound (wherein x and y have values satisfying 0 JP-A 2003-282312 discloses an R-Fe-(B.C) sintered magnet (wherein R is a rare earth element, at least 50% of R being Nd and/or Pr) having improved magnetizability which is obtained by mixing an alloy powder for R-Fe-(B,C) sintered magnet with a rare earth fluoride powder so that the powder mixture contains 3 to 20% by weight of the rare earth fluoride (the rare earth being preferably Dy and/or Tb), subjecting the powder mixture to orientation in a magnetic field, compaction and sintering, whereby a primary phase is composed mainly of Nd2Fe14B grains, and a particulate grain boundary phase is formed at grain boundaries of the primary phase or grain boundary triple points, said grain boundary phase containing the rare earth fluoride, the rare earth fluoride being contained in an amount of 3 to 20% by weight of the overall sintered magnet. Specifically, an R-Fe-(B,C) sintered magnet (wherein R is a rare earth element, at least 50% of R being Nd and/or Pr) is provided wherein the magnet comprises a primary phase composed mainly of Nd2Fe14B grains and a grain boundary phase containing the rare earth
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fluoride, the primary phase contains Dy and/or Tb, and the primary phase includes a region where the concentration of Dy and/or Tb is lower than the average concentration of Dy and/or Tb in the overall primary phase.
These proposals, however, are still insufficient in improving coercive force.
JP-A 2005-11973 discloses a rare earth-iron-boron base magnet which is obtained by holding a magnet in a vacuum tank, depositing an element M or an alloy containing an element M (M stands for one or more rare earth elements selected from Pr, Dy, Tb, and Ho) which has been vaporized or atomized by physical means on the entirety or part of the magnet surface in the vacuum tank, and effecting pack cementation so that the element M is diffused and penetrated from the surface into the interior of the magnet to at least a depth corresponding to the radius of crystal grains exposed at the outermost surface of the magnet, to form a grain boundary layer having element M enriched. The concentration of element M in the grain boundary layer is higher at a position nearer to the magnet surface. As a result, the magnet has the grain boundary layer in which element M is enriched by diffusion of element M from the magnet surface. A coercive force Hcj and the content of element M in the overall magnet have the relationship:
Hcj ;> 1 + 0.2xM
wherein Hcj is a coercive force in unit MA/m and M is the
content (wt%) of element M in the overall magnet and 0.05 ^ M
=s 10. This method, however, is extremely unproductive and impractical.
DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION
An object of the present invention is to provide rare earth permanent magnets having a graded function that a surface layer has a higher coercive force than the interior and efficiently improved heat resistance.
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In general, a magnet built in a magnetic circuit does not exhibit an identical permeance throughout the magnet, that is, the magnet interior has a distribution of the magnitude of diamagnetic field. For example, if a plate-shaped magnet has a magnetic pole on a wide surface, the center of that surface receives the maximum diamagnetic field. Furthermore, a surface layer of the magnet receives a large diamagnetic field as compared with the interior. Accordingly, when the magnet is exposed to high temperature, demagnetization occurs from the surface layer. Regarding R-Fe-B sintered magnets (wherein R is one or more elements selected from rare earth elements inclusive of Sc and Y), typically Nd-Fe-B sintered magnets, the inventors have found that when Dy and/or Tb and fluorine are absorbed and infiltrated in the magnet from its surface, Dy and/or Tb and fluorine are enriched only in proximity to interfaces between grains to impart a graded function that the coercive force becomes higher in the surface layer than in the interior, and especially the coercive force increases from the interior toward the surface layer. As a consequence, heat resistance is efficiently improved.
Accordingly, the present invention provides a functionally graded rare earth permanent magnet in the form of a sintered magnet body having an alloy composition R1aR2bTcAdFeOfMg wherein R1 is at least one element selected from rare earth elements inclusive of Sc and Y and exclusive of Tb and Dy, R2 is one or both of Tb and Dy, T is one or both of iron and cobalt, A is one or both of boron and carbon, F is fluorine, O is oxygen, and M is at least one element selected from the group consisting of Al, Cu, Zn, In, Si, P, S, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Ni, Ga, Ge, Zr, Nb, Mo, Pd, Ag, Cd, Sn, Sb, Hf, Ta, and W, a through g indicative of atom percents of the corresponding elements in the alloy have values in the range:
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magnet body. The concentration of R2/{R1+R2) contained in the grain boundaries is on the average higher than the concentration of R2/(R1+R2) contained in the primary phase grains. R2 is distributed such that its concentration increases on the average from the center toward the surface of the magnet body. The oxyfluoride of (R1R2) is present at grain boundaries in a grain boundary region that extends from
the magnet body surface to a depth of at least 20 m. The magnet body includes a surface layer having a higher coercive force than in the magnet body interior.
In a preferred embodiment, the oxyfluoride of (R\R2) at grain boundaries contains Nd and/or Pr, and an atomic ratio of Nd and/or Pr to (RJ+R2) contained in the oxyfluoride at grain boundaries is higher than an atomic ratio of Nd and/or Pr to (R*+R2) contained at grain boundaries excluding the oxyfluoride and the oxide of R3 wherein R3 is at least one element selected from rare earth elements inclusive of Sc
and Y.
In preferred embodiments, R1 comprises at least 10 atom% of Nd and/or Pr; T comprises at least 60 atom% of iron; and A comprises at least 80 atom% of boron.
The permanent magnet of the invention has a magnetic structure that the coercive force of a surface layer is higher than in the interior, and efficiently improved heat resistance.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a graph in which the coercive force at
varying sites of a magnet body Ml manufactured in Example 1
and a magnet body PI as machined and heat treated is plotted
relative to a depth from the magnet surface.
FIGS. 2a and 2b are photomicrographs showing Dy
distribution images of the magnet bodies Ml and PI,
respectively.
FIG. 3 is a graph in which the average concentrations
of Dy and F in the magnet bodies Ml and PI are plotted
relative to a depth from the magnet surface.
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FIG. 4a, 4b, and 4c are photomicrographs showing compositional distribution images of Nd, O, and F in the magnet body Ml,' respectively.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
The rare earth permanent magnet of the present invention is in the form of a sintered magnet body having an alloy composition of the formula (1).
R\R2bTcAdFeOfMg (1)
Herein R1 is at least one element selected from rare earth elements inclusive of Sc and Y and exclusive of Tb and Dy, R2 is one or both of Tb and Dy, T is one or both of iron (Fe) and cobalt (Co), A is one or both of boron and carbon, F is fluorine, 0 is oxygen, and M is at least one element selected from the group consisting of Al, Cu, Zn, In, Si, P, S, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Ni, Ga, Ge, Zr, Nb, Mo, Pd, Ag, Cd, Sn, Sb, Hf, Ta, and W. The subscripts a through g indicative of atom percents of the corresponding elements in the alloy have
values in the range: 10 0.04 Specifically, R1 is selected from among Sc, Y, La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Sin, Eu, Gd, Ho, Er, Yb, and Lu. Desirably, R1 contains Nd and/or Pr as a main component, the content of Nd and/or Pr being preferably at least 10 atom%, more preferably at least 50 atom% of R1. R2 is one or both of Tb and Dy.
The total amount (a+b) of R1 and R2 is 10 to 15 atom%, as recited above, and preferably 12 to 15 atom%. The amount (b) of R2 is preferably 0.01 to 8 atom%, more preferably 0.05 to 6 atom%, and even more preferably 0.1 to 5 atom%.
The amount (c) of T, which is Fe and/or Co, is preferably at least 60 atom%, and more preferably at least 70 atom%. Although cobalt can be omitted (i.e., 0 atom%), cobalt may be included in an amount of at least 1 atom%, preferably at least 3 atom%, more preferably at least 5 atom%
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for improving the temperature stability of remanence or other purposes.
Preferably A, which is boron and/or carbon, contains at least 80 atom%, more preferably at least 85 atom% of boron. The amount (d) of A is 3 to 15 atom%, as recited above, preferably 4 to 12 atom%, and more preferably 5 to 8 atom%.
The amount (e) of fluorine is 0.01 to 4 atom%, as recited above, preferably 0.02 to 3.5 atom%, and more preferably 0.05 to 3.5 atom%. At too low a fluorine content, an enhancement of coercive force is not observable. Too high a fluorine content alters the grain boundary phase, leading to a reduced coercive force.
The amount (f) of oxygen is 0.04 to 4 atom%, as recited above, preferably 0.04 to 3.5 atom%, and more preferably 0.04 to 3 atom%.
The amount (g) of other metal element M is 0.01 to 11 atom%, as recited above, preferably 0.01 to 8 atom%, and more preferably 0.02 to 5 atom%. The other metal element M may be present in an amount of at least 0.05 atom%, and especially at least 0.1 atom%.
It is noted that the sintered magnet body has a center and a surface. In the invention, constituent elements F and R2 are distributed in the sintered magnet body such that their concentration increases on the average from the center of the magnet body toward the surface of the magnet body. Specifically, the concentration of F and R2 is highest at the surface of the magnet body and gradually decreases toward the center of the magnet body. Fluorine may be absent at the magnet body center because the invention merely requires that the oxyfluoride of R1 and R2, typically (R11.xR2x)OF (wherein x is a number of 0 to 1) be present at grain boundaries in a grain boundary region that extends from the magnet body
surface to a depth of at least 20 m. While grain boundaries surround primary phase grains of (R1,R2)2T14A tetragonal system within the sintered magnet body, the concentration of R2/(R1+R2) contained in the grain boundaries is on the average
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higher than the concentration of R2/R1R2) contained in the primary phase grains.
In a preferred embodiment, the oxyfluoride of (R^R2) present at grain boundaries contains Nd and/or Pr, and an atomic ratio of Nd and/or Pr to (R1+R2) contained in the oxyfluoride at grain boundaries is higher than an atomic ratio of Nd and/or Pr to (R1+R2) contained at grain boundaries excluding the oxyfluoride and the oxide of R3 wherein R3 is at least one element selected from rare earth elements inclusive of Sc and Y.
The rare earth permanent magnet of the invention can be manufactured by causing Tb and/or Dy and fluorine to be absorbed and infiltrated in an R-Fe-B sintered magnet body from its surface. The R-Fe-B sintered magnet body, in turn, can be manufactured by a conventional process including crushing a mother alloy, milling, compacting and sintering.
The mother alloy used herein contains R, T, A, and M. R is at least one element selected from rare earth elements inclusive of Sc and Y. R is typically selected from among Sc, Y, La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Yb, and Lu. Desirably, R contains Nd, Pr and Dy as main components. These rare earth elements inclusive of Sc and Y are preferably present in an amount of 10 to 15 atom%, more preferably 12 to 15 atom% of the overall alloy. More desirably, R contains one or both of Nd and Pr in an amount of at least 10 atom%, especially at least 50 atom% of the entire R. T is one or both of Fe and Co, and Fe is preferably contained in an amount of at least 50 atom%, and more preferably at least 65 atom% of the overall alloy. A is one or both of boron and carbon, and boron is preferably contained in an amount of 2 to 15 atom%, and more preferably 3 to 8 atom% of the overall alloy. M is at least one element selected from the group consisting of Al, Cu, Zn, In, Si, P, S, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Ni, Ga, Ge, Zr, Nb, Mo, Pd, Ag, Cd, Sn, Sb, Hf, Ta, and W. M may be contained in an amount of 0.01 to 11 atom%, and preferably 0.1 to 5 atom% of the overall alloy.
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The balance is composed of incidental impurities such as N and 0.
The mother alloy is prepared by melting metal or alloy feeds in vacuum or an inert gas atmosphere, typically argon atmosphere, and casting the melt into a flat mold or book mold or strip casting. A possible alternative is a so-called two-alloy process involving separately preparing an alloy approximate to the R2Fe14B compound composition constituting the primary phase of the relevant alloy and an R-rich alloy serving as a liquid phase aid at the sintering temperature, crushing, then weighing and mixing them. Notably, the alloy approximate to the primary phase composition is subjected to homogenizing treatment, if necessary, for the purpose of increasing the amount of the R2Fe14B compound phase, since
a-Fe is likely to be left depending on the cooling rate during casting and the alloy composition. The homogenizing treatment is a heat treatment at 700 to 1,200°C for at least one hour in vacuum or in an Ar atmosphere. To the R-rich alloy serving as a liquid phase aid, a so-called melt quenching or strip casting technique is applicable as well as the above-described casting technique.
The mother alloy is generally crushed to a size of 0.05 to 3 mm, preferably 0.05 to 1.5 mm. The crushing step uses a Brown mill or hydriding pulverization, with the hydriding pulverization being preferred for those alloys as strip cast. The coarse powder is then finely divided to a
size of generally 0.2 to 30 m, preferably 0.5 to 20 um, for example, by a jet mill using nitrogen under pressure. The oxygen content of the sintered body can be controlled by admixing a minor amount of oxygen with the pressurized nitrogen at this point. The oxygen content of the final sintered body, which is given as the oxygen introduced during the preparation of the ingot plus the oxygen taken up during transition from the fine powder to the sintered body, is preferably 0.04 to 4 atom%, more preferably 0.04 to 3.5 atom%.
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The fine powder is then compacted under a magnetic field on a compression molding machine and placed in a sintering furnace. Sintering is effected in vacuum or in an inert gas atmosphere usually at a temperature of 900 to 1,250'C, preferably 1,000 to 1,100°C. The thus sintered magnet contains 60 to 99 vol%, preferably 80 to 98 vol% of the tetragonal R2Fe14B compound as a primary phase, the balance being 0.5 to 20 vol% of an R-rich phase, 0 to 10 vol% of a B-rich phase, 0.1 to 10 vol% of R oxide, and at least one of carbides, nitrides and hydroxides of incidental impurities or a mixture or composite thereof.
The sintered block is machined into a magnet body of a predetermined shape, after which rare earth elements, typically Tb and/or Dy, and fluorine are absorbed and infiltrated in the magnet body in order to impart the characteristic magnetic structure that the coercive force of a surface layer is higher than in the interior.
Referring to a typical treatment, a powder containing Tb and/or Dy and fluorine atoms is disposed on the surface of the magnet body. The magnet body packed with the powder is heat treated in vacuum or in an atmosphere of inert gas such as Ar or He at a temperature of not higher than the sintering temperature (referred to as Ts), preferably 200°c to (Ts-5)°C, especially 250°C to (Ts-10)°C for about 0.5 to 100 hours, preferably about 1 to 50 hours. Through the heat treatment, Tb and/or Dy and fluorine are infiltrated into the magnet from the surface and the rare earth oxide within the sintered magnet body reacts with fluorine to make a chemical change into an oxyfluoride.
The oxyfluoride of R (rare earth elements inclusive of Sc and Y) within the magnet is typically ROF, although it generally denotes oxyfluorides containing R, oxygen and fluorine that can achieve the effect of the invention including ROmFn (wherein m and n are positive numbers) and modified or stabilized forms of ROmFn wherein part of R is replaced by a metal element.
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The amount of fluorine absorbed in the magnet body at this point varies with the composition and particle size of the powder used, the proportion of the powder occupying the magnet surface-surrounding space during the heat treatment, the specific surface area of the magnet, the temperature and time of the heat treatment although the absorbed fluorine amount is preferably 0.01 to 4 atom%, more preferably 0.05 to 3.5 atom%. From the standpoint of increasing the coercive force of a surface layer, it is further preferred that the absorbed fluorine amount be 0.1 to 3.5 atom%, especially 0.15 to 3.5 atom%. For absorption, fluorine is fed to the surface of the magnet body in an amount of preferably 0.03 to 30 mg/cm2, more preferably 0.15 to 15 mg/cm2 of the surface.
Through the heat treatment, the Tb and/or Dy component also concentrates adjacent to the grain boundaries to augment anisotropy. The total amount of Tb and Dy absorbed in the magnet body is preferably 0.005 to 2 atom%, more preferably 0.01 to 2 atom%, even more preferably 0.02 to 1.5 atom%. For absorption, Tb and Dy are fed to the surface of the magnet body in a total amount of preferably 0.07 to 70 mg/cm2, more preferably 0.35 to 35 mg/cm2 of the surface.
The surface layer of the magnet body thus obtained has a coercive force which is higher than the coercive force of the magnet interior. Although the difference in coercive force between the surface layer and the interior is not critical, the fact that the permeance differs about 0.5 to 30% between the surface layer and the interior suggests that the coercive force of the surface layer should preferably be higher than the coercive force of the magnet body interior (that is disposed at a depth of at least 2 mm from the magnet body surface) by 5 to 150%, more preferably 10 to 150%, even more preferably 20 to 150%.
It is understood that the coercive force of different sites in the magnet body can be determined by cutting the magnet body into discrete small pieces and measuring the magnetic properties of the pieces.
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The permanent magnet material of the invention has a graded function that the coercive force of a surface layer is higher than that of an interior and can be used as a permanent magnet having improved heat resistance, especially in applications including motors' and pickup actuators.
EXAMPLE
Examples of the present invention are given below by way of illustration and not by way of limitation.
Example 1 and Comparative Example 1
An alloy in thin plate form was prepared by using Nd, Cu, Al, and Fe metals of at least 99 wt% purity and ferroboron, weighing predetermined amounts of them, high-frequency melting them in an Ar atmosphere, and casting the melt onto a single chill roll of copper {strip casting technique). The alloy consisted of 13.5 atom% Nd, 0.5 atom% Al, 0.4 atom% Cu, 6.0 atom% B, and the balance of Fe.
The alloy was ground to a size of under 30 mesh by the hydriding technique. On a jet mill using nitrogen gas under pressure, the coarse powder was finely divided into a powder
with a mass base median diameter of 3.7 m. While shielding from air, the fine powder was oriented in a magnetic field of 15 kOe under a nitrogen atmosphere and compacted under a pressure of about 1 ton/cm2. While shielding from air, the compact was then transferred to a sintering furnace with an Ar atmosphere where it was sintered at 1,050°C for 2 hours, obtaining a magnet block. The magnet block was machined on all the surfaces into a disk having a diameter of 20 mm and a thickness (oriented direction) of 14 mm. This magnet body had an average permeance value of 2. The magnet body was successively washed with alkaline solution, deionized water, aqueous acetic acid and deionized water, and dried.
Next, dysprosium fluoride powder having an average
particle size of 5 m was dispersed in ethanol in a mixing proportion of 50 wt%. The magnet body was immersed in the dispersion for 1 minute while sonicating the dispersion at 4 8
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kHz, taken up and immediately dried with hot air. The amount of dysprosium fluoride fed was 0.8 mg/cm2. Thereafter, the packed magnet body was subjected to absorptive treatment in an Ar atmosphere at 900° C for 1 hour and then aging treatment at 520°C for 1 hour and quenched, obtaining a magnet body within the scope of the invention. This magnet body is designated Ml. For comparison purposes, a magnet body was similarly prepared by effecting heat treatment without the dysprosium fluoride package. This is designated PI.
The magnet bodies Ml and PI were measured for magnetic properties (remanence Br, coercive force Hej), with the results shown in Table 1. The compositions of the magnets are shown in Table 2. The magnet Ml of the invention exhibited magnetic properties substantially comparable to the magnet PI having undergone heat treatment without the dysprosium fluoride package. These magnet bodies were held at different temperatures in the range of 50 to 200°C for one hour, after which the overall magnetic flux was measured. The temperature at which the overall magnetic flux is reduced 5% from the overall magnetic flux at room temperature (25°C) is defined as the maximum service temperature. The results are also shown in Table 1. The magnet body Ml had a maximum service temperature which was 20°C higher than that of the magnet body PI although they had substantially equal coercive forces.
The magnet bodies Ml and PI were cut along the oriented direction (14 mm thickness direction) into slices of
0.5 mm thick, of which central portions of 4 x 4 mm were cut
out. The small magnet pieces of4mmx4mmx0.5mm (thick) were measured for coercive force, which are plotted relative to a distance from the surface of the original magnet body in FIG. 1. The coercive force of magnet body PI remains constant whereas the coercive force of magnet body Ml is very high at the surface layer and lowers to the same level as PI in the interior. Since these small magnet pieces represent the coercive force of varying sites from the surface layer to the interior of the magnet body, it is demonstrated that the
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magnet body Ml of the invention has a distribution of coercive force in the interior, which is highest at the surface layer.
The magnet bodies Ml and PI were analyzed by electron probe microanalysis (EPMA), with their by distribution images being shown in FIGS. 2a and 2b. Since the source alloy for the magnet is free of Dy, bright contrast spots indicative of the presence of Dy are not found in the image of PI. In contrast, the magnet Ml having undergone absorptive treatment with the dysprosium fluoride package manifests that Dy is enriched only at grain boundaries. In FIG. 3, the average concentrations of Dy and F in the magnet Ml having undergone Dy infiltration treatment are plotted relative to a depth from the surface. It is seen that the concentrations of Dy and F enriched at grain boundaries become lower toward the magnet interior.
FIG. 4 illustrates distribution images of Nd, 0 and F under the same field of view as in FIG. 2. It is understood that fluorine once absorbed reacts with neodymium oxide already present within the magnet to form neodymium oxyfluoride.
These data prove that a magnet body characterized by the enrichment of Dy at grain boundaries, the dispersion of oxyfluoride, the graded concentrations of Dy and F, and the distribution of coercive force in the interior exhibits better heat resistance with a minimal amount of Dy added.
Example 2 and Comparative Example 2
An alloy in thin plate form was prepared by using Nd, Dy, Cu, Al, and Fe metals of at least 99 wt% purity and ferroboron, weighing predetermined amounts of them, high-frequency melting them in an Ar atmosphere, and casting the melt onto a single chill roll of copper (strip casting technique). The alloy consisted of 12.0 atom% Nd, 1.5 atom% Dy, 0.5 atom% Al, 0.4 atom% Cu, 6.0 atom% B, and the balance of Fe.
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The alloy was ground to a size of under 30 mesh by the hydriding technique. On a jet mill using nitrogen gas under pressure, the coarse powder was finely divided into a powder
with a mass base median diameter of 4.2 m. While shielding from air, the fine powder was oriented in a magnetic field of 15 kOe under a nitrogen atmosphere and compacted under a pressure of about 1 ton/cm2. While shielding from air, the compact was then transferred to a sintering furnace with an Ar atmosphere where it was sintered at 1,060°C for 2 hours, obtaining a magnet block. The magnet block was machined on all the surfaces into a disk having a diameter of 10 mm and a thickness (oriented direction) of 7 mm. This magnet body had an average permeance value of 2. The magnet body was successively washed with alkaline solution, deionized water, aqueous nitric acid and deionized water, and dried.
Next, terbium fluoride powder having an average
particle size of 10 pun was dispersed in deionized water in a mixing proportion of 50 wt%. The magnet body was immersed in the dispersion for 1 minute while sonicating the dispersion at 48 kHz, taken up and immediately dried .with hot air. The amount of terbium fluoride fed was 1.2 mg/cm2. Thereafter, the packed magnet body was subjected to absorptive treatment in an Ar atmosphere at 800°C for 5 hours and then aging treatment at 510°C for 1 hour and quenched, obtaining a magnet body within the scope of the invention. This magnet body is designated M2. For comparison purposes, a magnet body was similarly prepared by effecting heat treatment without the terbium fluoride package. This is designated P2.
The magnet bodies M2 and P2 were measured for magnetic properties (Br, Hcj) and the maximum service temperature as defined in Example 1, with the results shown in Table 1. The compositions of the magnets are shown in Table 2. As compared with the magnet P2, the magnet M2 of the invention exhibited a substantially equal remanence, a high coercive force and a maximum service temperature rise of 45°C. The distributions of Tb and F in the magnet bodies M2 and P2 as analyzed by EPMA were equivalent to the distributions of Dy and F in Example 1.
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The distribution of coercive force of small pieces cut out of the magnet was the same as in Example 1.
These data prove that a magnet body characterized by the enrichment of Tb at grain boundaries, the dispersion of oxyfluoride, the graded concentrations of Tb and F, and the distribution of coercive force in the interior exhibits better heat resistance with a minimal amount of Tb added.
Examples 3-7 and Comparative Examples 3-7
An alloy in thin plate form was prepared by using Nd, Pr, Dy, Al, Fe, Cu, Co, Ni, Mo, Zr, and Ti metals of at least 99 wt% purity and ferroboron, weighing predetermined amounts of them, high-frequency melting them in an Ar atmosphere, and casting the melt onto a single chill roll of copper (strip casting technique). The alloy consisted of 11.5 atom% Nd, 1.0 atom% Pr, 1.0 atom% Dy, 0.5 atom% Al, 0.3 atom% Cu, 1.0 atom% M' (= Cr, Ni, Mo, Zr or Ti), 5.8 atom% B, and the balance of Fe.
The alloy was ground to a size of under 30 mesh by the hydriding technique. On a jet mill using nitrogen gas under pressure, the coarse powder was finely divided into a powder
with a mass base median diameter of 5.1 \un. The fine powder was oriented in a magnetic field of 15 kOe under a nitrogen atmosphere and compacted under a pressure of about 1 ton/cm2. The compact was then transferred to a sintering furnace with an Ar atmosphere where it was sintered at 1,060°C for 2 hours, obtaining a magnet block. The magnet block was machined on all the surfaces into a disk having a diameter of 10 mm and a thickness (oriented direction) of 7 mm. This magnet body had an average permeance value of 2. The magnet body was successively washed with alkaline solution, deionized water, aqueous nitric acid and deionized water, and dried.
Subsequently the magnet body was immersed in a dispersion of 50 wt% a 90:10 (weight ratio) terbium-fluoride/neodymium oxide powder mix in ethanol for 1 minute while sonicating the dispersion at 48 kHz. The terbium
17
fluoride and neodymium oxide powders had an average particle size of 10 m and 1 m, respectively. The magnet was taken up and placed in a vacuum desiccator where it was dried at room temperature for 30 minutes while evacuating by a rotary pump. The amount of terbium fluoride fed was 1.5 to 2.3 mg/cm2. Thereafter, the packed magnet body was subjected to absorptive treatment in an Ar atmosphere at 900°C for 3 hours and then aging treatment at 500°C for 1 hour and quenched, obtaining a magnet body within the scope of the invention. These magnet bodies are designated M3 to M7 in the order of M' = Cr, Ni, Mo, Zr, and Ti. For comparison purposes, magnet bodies were similarly prepared by effecting heat treatment without the powder package. They are designated P3 to P7.
The magnet bodies M3 to M7 and P3 to P7 were measured for magnetic properties (Br, Hej) and the maximum service temperature as defined in Example 1, with the results shown in Table 1. The compositions of the magnets are shown in Table 2. As compared with the comparative magnets, the magnets M3 to M7 of the invention exhibited substantially equal magnetic properties and a maximum service temperature rise of 20-30°C. The distributions of Tb and F in the magnet bodies M3 to M7 and P3 to P7 as analyzed by EPMA were equivalent to the distributions of Dy and F in Example 1. The distribution of coercive force of small pieces cut out of each magnet was the same as in Example 1.
These data prove that a magnet body characterized by the enrichment of Tb at grain boundaries, the dispersion of oxyfluoride, the graded concentrations of Tb and F, and the distribution of coercive force in the interior exhibits better heat resistance with a minimal amount of Tb added.
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Table 1

Br (T) Hcj (MA/m) Hcj
(MA/m)
of magnet
surface.
layer Maximum service
temp. (°C)
Example 1 Ml 1.43 0.96 1.49 115
Example 2 M2 1.39 2.08 2.47 195
Example 3 M3 1.42 1.20 1.75 150
Example 4 M4 1.38 1.22 1.68 140
Example 5 M5 1.37 1.25 1.61 145
Example 6 M6 1.38 1.25 2.21 155
Example 7 M7 1.38 1.24 2.47 150
Comparative Example 1 PI 1.43 0.96 0.95 95
Comparative Example 2 P2 1.39 1.35 1.37 150
Comparative Example 3 P3 1.42 1.20 1.15 120
Comparative Example 4 P4 1.38 1.22 1.24 125
Comparative Example 5 P5 1.37 1.24 1.20 125
Comparative Example 6 P6 1.38 1.25 1.26 130
Comparative Example 7 P7 1.38 1.23 1.22 125
19

Table 2

Pr [at.%] Nd [at.%] Tb
[at.%] Dy [at.%] Fe [at.%] B [at.%] F
[at.%] 0
[at.%] Al [at.%] Cu [at.%] M' [at.%]
Example 1 Ml 0.000 13.228 0.000 0.061 79.183 5.969 0.179 0.485 0.497 0.398 0.000
Example 2 M2 0.000 11.739 0.082' 0.000 ' 80 ."598 5.959' 0.240 0.489 0.497 0.397 0.000
Example 3 M3 0.969 11.195 0.163 1.013 77.695 5.703 0.478 1.014 0.492 0.295 0.983
Example 4 M4 0.971 11.222 0.123 1.015 77.844 5.717 0.359 0.974 0.493 0.296 0.986
Example 5 M5 0.976 11.276 0.062 1.019 78.161 5.745 0.181 0.798 0.495 0.297 0.990
Example 6 M6 0.964 11.145 0.288 1.010 77.461 5.678 0.842 0.849 0.489 0.294 0.979
Example 7 M7 0.960 11.099 0.338 1.006 77.187 5.654 0.990 1.011 0.487 0.292 0.975
Comparative Example 1 PI 0.000 13.259 0.000 0.000 79.371 5.983 0.000 0.490 0.499 0.399 0.000
Comparative Example 2 P2 0.000 11.786 0.000 0.000 80.844 5.983 0.000 0.490 0.499 0.399 0.000
Comparative Example 3 P3 0.976 11.285 0.000 1.019 78.166 5.749 0.000 1.020 0.496 0.297 0.991
Comparative Example 4 P4 0.977 11.290 0.000 1.020 78.196 5.751 0.000 0.981 0.496 0.297 0.992
Comparative Example 5 P5 0.979 11.310 0.000 1.022 78.339 5.762 0.000 0.800 0.497 0.298 0.993
Comparative Example 6 P6 0.978 11.304 0.000 1.021 78.298 5.759 0.000 0.852 0.496 0.298 0.993
Comparative Example 7 P7 0.976 11.286 0.000 1.019 78.171 5.750 0.000 1.014 0.496 0.297 0.991
Analytical values of rare earth elements were determined by entirely dissolving samples (prepared as in Examples and Comparative Examples) in aqua regia, and effecting measurement by inductively coupled plasma (ICP), analytical values of oxygen determined by inert gas fusion/infrared absorption spectroscopy, and analytical values of fluorine determined by steam distillation/Alfusone colorimetry.
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CLAIMS:
1. A functionally graded rare earth permanent magnet in
the form of a sintered magnet body having an alloy
composition R\R\TcAdFeOFMg wherein' R1 "is at least one element
selected from rare earth elements inclusive of Sc and Y and
exclusive of Tb and Dy, R2 is one or both of Tb and Dy, T is
one or both of iron and cobalt, A is one or both of boron and
carbon, F is fluorine, 0 is oxygen, and M is at least one
element selected from the group consisting of Al, Cu, Zn, In,
Si, P, S, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Ni, Ga, Ge, Zr, Nb, Mo, Pd, Ag, Cd,
Sn, Sb, Hf, Ta, and W, a through g indicative of atom
percents of the corresponding elements in the alloy have
values in the range: 10 0.04 wherein grain boundaries surround primary phase grains of (R1, R2)2T14A tetragonal system within the sintered magnet body, the concentration of R2/(RX+R2) contained in the grain boundaries is on the average higher than the concentration of R2/(R1+R2) contained in the primary phase grains, R2 is distributed such that its concentration increases on the average from the center toward the surface of the magnet body, the oxyfluoride of (Ra,R2) is present at grain boundaries in a grain boundary region that extends from the
magnet body surface to a depth of at least 20 m, and the magnet body includes a surface layer having a higher coercive force than in the magnet body interior.
2. The rare earth permanent magnet of claim 1 wherein the
oxyfluoride of (R^R2) at grain boundaries contains Nd and/or
Pr, and
an atomic ratio of Nd and/or Pr to (R^R3) contained in the oxyfluoride at grain boundaries is higher than an atomic ratio of Nd and/or Pr to (RVR2) contained at grain boundaries excluding the oxyfluoride and the oxide of R'
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wherein R3 is at least one element selected from rare earth elements inclusive of Sc and Y.
3. The rare earth permanent magnet of claim 1 or 2 wherein R1 comprises at least 10 atom% of Nd and/or Pr.
4. The rare earth permanent magnet of any one of claims 1 to 3 wherein T comprises at least 60 atom% of iron.
5. The rare earth permanent magnet of any one of claims 1 to 4 wherein A comprises at least 80 atom% of boron.
Dated this 23rd day of January, 2006

-22-

ABSTRACT
A functionally graded rare earth permanent magnet is in the form of a sintered magnet body having a composition R1aR2bTcAdFeOfMg wherein the concentration of R/(R1+R2) contained in grain boundaries surrounding primary phase grains of (R1,R2)2T14A tetragonal system within the sintered magnet body is on the average higher than the concentration of RVIRVR2) contained in the primary phase grains, R2 is distributed such that its concentration increases on the average from the center toward the surface of the magnet body, the oxyfluoride of (R\R2) is present at grain boundaries in a grain boundary region that extends from the magnet body surface to a depth
of at least 20 m, and the magnet body includes a surface layer having a higher coercive force than in the interior. The invention provides permanent magnets having improved heat resistance.
To
The Controller of Patent
The Patent Office
Mumbai
-23-

Documents:

115-mum-2006-abstract(24-1-2006).pdf

115-mum-2006-abstract(granted)-(31-3-2011).pdf

115-mum-2006-abstract.doc

115-mum-2006-abstract.pdf

115-MUM-2006-CANCELLED PAGES(13-10-2010).pdf

115-mum-2006-claims(24-1-2006).pdf

115-MUM-2006-CLAIMS(AMENDED)-(13-10-2010).pdf

115-mum-2006-claims(granted)-(31-3-2011).pdf

115-MUM-2006-CLAIMS(MARKED COPY)-(13-10-2010).pdf

115-mum-2006-claims.doc

115-mum-2006-claims.pdf

115-MUM-2006-CORRESPONDENCE(13-10-2010).pdf

115-mum-2006-correspondence(20-2-2008).pdf

115-mum-2006-correspondence(24-1-2006).pdf

115-MUM-2006-CORRESPONDENCE(29-5-2009).pdf

115-mum-2006-correspondence(ipo)-(1-4-2011).pdf

115-mum-2006-correspondence-received.pdf

115-mum-2006-description (complete).pdf

115-mum-2006-description(complete)-(24-1-2006).pdf

115-mum-2006-description(granted)-(31-3-2011).pdf

115-mum-2006-drawing(24-1-2006).pdf

115-mum-2006-drawing(granted)-(31-3-2011).pdf

115-mum-2006-drawings.pdf

115-mum-2006-form 18(20-2-2008).pdf

115-mum-2006-form 2(complete)-(24-1-2006).pdf

115-mum-2006-form 2(granted)-(31-3-2011).pdf

115-mum-2006-form 2(title page)-(24-1-2006).pdf

115-mum-2006-form 2(title page)-(granted)-(31-3-2011).pdf

115-MUM-2006-FORM 3(13-10-2010).pdf

115-mum-2006-form 3(24-1-2006).pdf

115-mum-2006-form-1.pdf

115-mum-2006-form-2.doc

115-mum-2006-form-2.pdf

115-mum-2006-form-26.pdf

115-mum-2006-form-3.pdf

115-mum-2006-form-5.pdf

115-MUM-2006-PETITION UNDER RULE 137(13-10-2010).pdf

115-MUM-2006-REPLY TO EXAMINATION REPORT(13-10-2010).pdf

115-MUM-2006-U S PATENT(29-5-2009).pdf

abstract1.jpg


Patent Number 247351
Indian Patent Application Number 115/MUM/2006
PG Journal Number 14/2011
Publication Date 08-Apr-2011
Grant Date 31-Mar-2011
Date of Filing 24-Jan-2006
Name of Patentee SHIN-ETSU CHEMICAL CO., LTD
Applicant Address 6-1,OTEMACHI 2-CHOME CHIYODA-KU, TOKYO
Inventors:
# Inventor's Name Inventor's Address
1 HAJIME NAKAMURA C/O Magnetic Materials Research Center, Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd., 1-5, Kitago 2-Chome Echizen-shi, Fukui-ken
2 KOICHI HIROTA C/O Magnetic Materials Research Center, Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd., 1-5, Kitago 2-Chome Echizen-shi, Fukui-ken
3 MASANOBU SHIMAO C/O Magnetic Materials Research Center, Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd., 1-5, Kitago 2-Chome Echizen-shi, Fukui-ken
4 TAKEHISA MINOWA C/O Magnetic Materials Research Center, Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd., 1-5, Kitago 2-Chome Echizen-shi, Fukui-ken
PCT International Classification Number H01F1/053; H01F1/032
PCT International Application Number N/A
PCT International Filing date
PCT Conventions:
# PCT Application Number Date of Convention Priority Country
1 2005-084149 2005-03-23 Japan