India’s First Indigenous Hafnium Sponge Plant Is Commissioned For Use In Production of Permanent Magnets

Dr. R. Ratheesh, director of C-MET, said Hafnium-based rare-earth free permanent magnets would be most viable materials for use in wind energy applications.

The first indigenous Hafnium (Hf) Sponge plant in India with annual production capacity of nearly 320 kg has been established at Hyderabad laboratory of Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology (C-MET) under the aegis of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC).

S. Somanath, scientist and director-VSSC, Department of Space, inaugurated the plant on Friday. Dr. N.R. Munirathnam, director general of C-MET, who presided over the meeting, said the centre has three laboratories at Pune, Hyderabad and Thrissur. He said worldwide production of Hafnium is approximately 70 metric tonnes per annum and was one of the costliest and most wanted metal for space programmes.

Dr. R. Ratheesh, director of C-MET, said Hafnium-based rare-earth free permanent magnets would be most viable materials for use in wind energy applications.

Hafnium is a chemical element with symbol Hf and atomic number 72. A lustrous, silvery gray, tetravalent transition metal, hafnium chemically resembles zirconium and is found in many zirconium minerals. Its existence was predicted by Dmitri Mendeleev in 1869, though it was not identified until 1923, by Coster and Hevesy, making it the last stable element to be discovered. Hafnium is named after Hafnia, the Latin name for Copenhagen, where it was discovered. Hafnium is used in filaments and electrodes. Some semiconductor fabrication processes use its oxide for integrated circuits at 45 nm and smaller feature lengths. Some superalloys used for special applications contain hafnium in combination with niobium, titanium, or tungsten. Hafnium’s large neutron capture cross-section makes it a good material for neutron absorption in control rods in nuclear power plants, but at the same time requires that it be removed from the neutron-transparent corrosion-resistant zirconium alloys used in nuclear reactors.

More information about Hafnium permanent magnets can be found in the Study of the Effect of Hafnium on the Magnetic Properties of Permanent Magnets with Single-Crystal Structure from Alloy YuNDKT5AA
(I. V. BelyaevEmail author, A. V. MoiseevA. V. KutepovL. A. Lomtev – March 2015)

 

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