Rare earths are a group of specialty metals critical to a wide range of modern technologies and future industries because most have unique beneficial properties. Rare earths are in high demand for permanent magnets used in electric vehicles, wind turbines, robotics, personal technology and other applications.
Product information: rare earths
ASM will produce a suite of separated rare earth oxides for up to 15 rare earth elements (including neodymium, praseodymium, terbium and dysprosium). A range of standard product specifications will be available, with exact chemistries and particle properties to be designed and tailored based on market demand. In addition to producing a standard product range, we can make products to customers' specifications under terms of the utmost confidentiality. Our operating demonstration plant at ANSTO (global experts in solvent extraction recovery of rare earths) enables us to produce small quantities of test material for customers.Make a product enquiry
About rare earths
The rare earths are a set of 17 elements that share similar properties and are usually found together in geological deposits, requiring advanced metallurgical processing to recover and separate. They consist of the 15 lanthanide elements on the periodic table, along with scandium and yttrium. The most abundant rare earths are lanthanum, cerium and neodymium, all considered light rare earths, along with praseodymium and samarium. These elements typically comprise approximately 85-90% of rare earth resources. The heavy rare earth elements make up the balance and are significantly less abundant. These comprise europium, gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium, holmium, erbium, thulium, ytterbium, lutetium and yttrium.
Rare earths each have their own individual demand drivers, challenges and technology innovations. The key driver of the rare earths industry in recent decades is their application in permanent NdFeB magnets, where neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium and terbium are used. Lanthanum, cerium and some of the other elements are widely used in applications such as catalysts, metallurgy, polishing, glass, ceramics and phosphors.
Rare earth magnets
The key driver of the rare earths industry in recent decades is their application in permanent NdFeB magnets, for which neodymium is a key component. The additional presence of praseodymium contributes improved corrosion resistance with minimal reduction of magnet performance, while terbium and dysprosium each improve magnetic performance at high temperatures.
NdFeB magnets are essential for a growing number of applications involving electric motors, especially sustainable technologies and industries, where they are a vital component of wind turbine generators and electric vehicles. The high energy to weight ratio of NdFeB magnets has also facilitated the miniaturisation of computers, portable consumer electronics and smart devices. Other uses include medical imaging and diagnostic equipment, such as MRIs.