Journal of Materials Research

Explosive shock processing of Pr2Fe14B/α-Fe exchange-coupled nanocomposite bulk magnets

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Explosive shock compaction was used to consolidate powders obtained from melt-spun Pr2Fe14B/α-Fe nanocomposite ribbons, to produce fully dense cylindrical compacts of 17-41-mm diameter and 120-mm length. Characterization of the compacts revealed refinement of the nanocomposite structure, with approximately 15 nm uniformly sized grains. The compact produced at a shock pressure of approximately 1 GPa maintained a high coercivity, and its remanent magnetization and maximum energy product were measured to be 0.98 T and 142 kJ/m3, respectively. The compact produced at 4-7 GPa showed a decrease in magnetic properties while that made at 12 GPa showed a magnetic softening behavior. However, in both of these cases, a smooth hysteresis loop implying exchange coupling and a coercivity of 533 kA/m were fully recovered after heat treatment. The results illustrate that the explosive compaction followed by post-shock heat treatment can be used to fabricate exchange-coupled nanocomposite bulk magnets with optimized magnetic properties. © 2005 Materials Research Society.