AEC Industrial Magnetics Manufacturing

4699 Interstate Drive
Cincinnati, OH 45246

Rare Earth Elements

Permanent & Electromagnets for Automation | AEC Magnetics

Rare Earth Disks 300We couldn't help but notice. The soundtrack from Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, the video game that's set in a Cold War in the year 2025, includes a great cut called "Rare Earth Elements."  But did you know that there really is a "cold trade war" between the U.S. and China?  And, coincidentally one of the bones of contention has to do with rare earth elements (REEs); specifically, that China owns 98-percent of the world's REE market.  

periodic table rare earthsWhat are REEs?  Rare earth elements, the 15 lanthanides, plus scandium and yttrium if you are following along on your periodic table, are naturally-occuring elements that have unique properties, such as magnetism and phosphoresence. These are mined, processed and sold to manufacturers and governments worldwide. Some are made into the tiny permanent magnets enable our smartphones to have color screens, speakers and the ability to vibrate.  Electric vehicles and hybrid cars use permanent magnets in their batteries. Guided missiles and satellite systems use permanent magnets. China owns the market, no rare earths are mined in North America. 
National energy technology labNational Energy Lab scientists extracting REEs from coal wasteRare earths are plentiful. You can probably go out in your neighborhood and find all 17, but you'd have to dig an incredible amount of dirt to get enough to make a permanent magnet.  The process is extensive, expensive and harsh on the environment. The only working U.S. site went bankrupt two yeas ago. 

King Coal to the Rescue. Last week, the U. S. Department of Energy's National Technology Lab announced it may be possible to recover rare earth elements from coal mining waste.  Finding high REE concentrations in five U.S. coal basins is hopeful news in a country that has no alternative. You may read about it here. The bottom line, for today, is that supply is critical.  AEC forged relationships with the best, most trustworthy and dependable permanent magnetic materials suppliers in the world.  We work night and day to ensure the quality of materials, price and supply are the best in the industry.  See our selection rare earth magnets and if you don't see exactly what you want or need, remember:  

If it's magnetic, it's AEC!