Volegov, A.S., Andreev, S.V., Selezneva, N.V., Ryzhikhin, I.A., Kudrevatykh, N.V., Mädler, L., Okulov, I.V.
Acta Materialia (2020) 188, 733-739
Laser based powder bed fusion is a promising manufacturing method that can be used for the fabrication of hard magnets such as NdFeB with nearly any given geometrical shape. However, the weak performance, e.g., low coercivity, of the 3D-printed magnets currently hinder their application. In this work, we demonstrated a proof-of-concept of powder bed additive manufacturing of heavy rare earth free NdFeB magnets with technologically attractive coercivity values. The 3D-printed NdFeB magnets exhibit the highest (up-to-date for the additively manufactured magnets without heavy rare earth metals) coercivity values reaching μ0Hc = 1.6 T. The magnets were synthesized using a mixture of the NdFeB-based and the low-melting eutectic alloy powders. The essential function of the eutectic alloy, along with binding of the NdFeB-based magnetic particles, is the significant improvement of their coercivity by the in-situ grain boundary (GB) infiltration. The fundamental understanding of the magnetization reversal processes in these 3D-printed magnets leads to the conclusion that the excellent performance of the additively manufactured hard magnets can be achieved through the delicate control of the intergrain exchange interaction between the grains of the Nd2Fe14B phase.