Improvement of microstructure and magnetic properties of Nd-Fe-B alloys by Nb and Co additions

FM Ahmed, Ivor Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)


In order to establish the role of niobium on the hydrogenation, disproportionation, desorption and recombination (HDDR) behavior of near-stoichiometric alloys, two alloys: Nd13Fe8OB7 and Nd13Fe78Nb1Co1B7 (at%) were investigated before, during and after the HDDR process. The microstructure of the as-cast Nb-free alloy before employing the HDDR process was found to consist of three phases, the matrix Nd2Fe14B (phi) phase, Nd-rich phase and a significant amount of free iron; whereas, the microstructure of the Nb-containing alloy consisted of only the first two phases. The HDDR behavior of the above alloys was characterized using a high-resolution scanning electron microscope (HRSEM). The disproportionation of the Nd2Fe14B (phi) matrix phase starts at the Nd-rich/phi phase interface, resulting in the formation of a sub-micron structure consisting of Fe, Fe2B and Nd-hydride. The disproportionated structures of the Nb-free alloy contained large arms of free iron dendrites, which were retained from the as-cast structures. In the niobium-containing alloy, the recombined grains appear finer and with more rounded shapes in comparison with those of the NdFeB alloy. Promising magnetic properties have been obtained for bonded magnets using the HDDR powder. The magnetic properties, especially the intrinsic coercivity, improved significantly by using similar to 1% Nd in excess of the stoichiometric content. (C) 2008 Elsevier B. V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2808-2813
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008


  • Nd-Fe-B-Nb-Co hard magnetic material
  • HDDR
  • SEM


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