Rare earth magnets are part of a massive, multi-billion dollar industry that is only growing in size and complexity. A recent study by Grand View Research Firm, Inc. predicts that the already lucrative industry will be worth $38.53 billion by the year 2024; that is a nine percent increase from its $16.5 billion net worth in 2016. 

This spike comes in the wake of increased demand for rare earth metals from money-making industries – clean energy, electronics, healthcare, national defense, aerospace, transportation, and perhaps most significantly, the automotive industry.

Rare Earth Metals in the Automotive Industry

Permanent magnets are extensively used in the production of batteries for electric and hybrid cars. The previously mentioned eight-year period of growth will likely stem primarily from the automotive industry’s changing performance efficiency requirements and the “miniaturization of various automotive parts including sensors and electronic systems.”

Other automotive advancements increase the need to use less fuel and implement more sophisticated control systems. The push to produce lower emissions has also increased demand. However, all things considered, there is more behind the financial ascension of the industry than advances made in the automotive industry.

Low-Cost Production and Rare Earth Alternatives

Another reason for the rising demand of rare earth magnets is the decreased use of harmful elements such as dysprosium (another more expensive rare earth element), which is often added to help magnets function more efficiently at high temperatures. Low-risk magnets come at low-cost production, which has resulted in increased revenue.

China, a region accounting for approximately 80% of the rare earth supply, has also helped reduce production costs because of its low-cost manufacturers. These elements, however, can be difficult to attain due to changing geopolitical climates. In North American and European regions, shortages and lack of access have led to research to develop cheaper alternatives or magnet modifications. 

“Replacing rare-earth magnets, which are in high demand,” says researcher Thomas Lograsso, “would be ideal, both economically and environmentally. Although our modified cerium-cobalt compounds are not as powerful as rare-earth magnets, they could still be highly valuable for certain commercial applications.”

Use Apex Magnets Today

Ultimately, the health and status of this billion dollar industry is trending upward but remains unpredictable due to technological advancement, growing demand, uncertain access, geopolitical climate, environmental factors, and more. 

Of the seventeen rare earth elements, Samarium-cobalt and Neodymium are two of the most commonly used in magnetic applications. At Apex, we offer both. They each provide excellent force-to-weight that makes them ideal for industrial and commercial use. 

If you are a purchasing manager considering the many benefits of working with permanent magnets, call us at (1-304) 257-1193. We can walk you through some of the most common and useful applications we see.