Pilot Plant 1: LCM


Material synthesis:

casting of Mn-Al-C alloy


In the Pilot Plant 1, LCM will lead the up-scaled fabrication of the Mn-Al-C alloy by casting. LCM will then supply the newly produced as-cast alloy to METALPINE, who will proceed with gas-atomization.

The leading partner for Pilot Plant 1 is LCM (Less Common Metals), world leader in the manufacture and supply of complex alloy systems and metals, as well as the only rare-earth alloy producer in Europe which supplies alloys at the global level. LCM is also the only producer outside the Far East able to produce rare-earth metals and master alloys by fused salt electrolysis. The company has recently announced the expansion of their metal making capabilities to include Dy, Tb and DyFe.

Innovation: industrial production of Mn-Al-C powder


The first step in the project is to fabricate the precursors to be used for magnets fabrication. Two categories of materials will be fabricated: loose powder and compound (permanent magnet/polymer). Less Common Metals, world leader in the manufacture of alloys by casting technologies, is using unique processing technologies and routes to produce Mn-Al-C powder.

The Mn-Al-C powder is not yet produced at the industrial level. However, previous research conducted by PASSENGER’s partners shows how the material is ready for industrial implementation: IMDEA (combining gas-atomization and their self-developed flash-milling technique under both EU projects and an industrial contract on Mn-Al-C) and TUDA (casting technology) have shown the maturity of this permanent magnet material, ready to go to industry.

LCM and METALPINE (specialised in metal powder production by gas-atomization) and will work together with IMA and TUDA towards the upscaled fabrication of the Mn-Al-C alloy. 

One of the major tasks led by METALPINE and LCM will also be identifying the best suppliers for these elements among their existing suppliers or finding new ones. The selection will then be taken on the basis of suppliers’ reliability, location, and fair price.


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