Supplying Magnets To NASA

By Paul Fears | 30 April 2019

Bunting is thrilled to have been selected as the supplier of high specification grain boundary diffused Neodymium Iron Boron (NdFeB) Magnets for a NASA project.

Magnets to NASA

Grain Boundary Diffused Magnets

Grain Boundary Diffusion (GBD) technology enables the heavy rare earth element Dysprosium to diffuse from the surface of a grain around all of the grains boundaries.  Dysprosium is added to Neodymium Iron Boron to improve and maintain the permanent magnet’s strong magnetic fields at high temperatures (above 150 degrees Celsius).

Grain Boundary Diffusion Technology
Dislocation Grain Boundary Alteration

NASA has a long history of utilising magnets for a number of interesting applications from collecting dust on the planet Mars with the Pathfinder program, to space-based MRI systems.  Indeed, over the past 50 years, many satellites have been put in orbit to monitor and track the Earth’s Magnetic Field, looking for changes that could impact life.

It is a little known fact that Magnetic Ferrofluid was invented by NASA as a means of moving fuel around a station or spacecraft in space where traditional pumping mechanisms (also using permanent magnets as motors or couplings) are not effective.  Ferrofluid is now being considered for a huge number of applications from Medical devices to high-end speaker drivers and is available via our eMagnets website.

Also, a NASA spacecraft will travel closer to the Sun than ever before and plot the magnetic field lines that circle the sun.  This will provide vital data on solar Winds and the  Extreme temperature of the sun’s surface and corona.

“Our development of grain boundary diffusion technology has significantly expanded the number of applications for NdFeB permanent magnets,” explained Matthew Swallow, Bunting’s Technical Product Manager.  “We are very proud and excited at being selected to supply such magnet technology to NASA.  Our team of experienced magnet engineers are looking forward to working closely with the engineers at NASA.”

Related Technical Article

Magnet and Magnet Assembly Design

Bunting designs and manufactures a wide range of magnets and magnetic assemblies.  Many are bespoke for specific applications.  For further information on any of the products mentioned in this article, or for bespoke magnet assemblies and magnet designs, please contact us via:

Phone:  +44 (0) 1442 875081


Via the Bunting-Berkhamsted website for specialist magnets, magnetic assemblies and magnetising equipment

Via Bunting-eMagnets for online purchase of Magnets and Magnetic Technology

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