Magnetic material classification and its industrial chain status


Magnetic materials can be divided into metallic magnetic materials and non-metallic magnetic materials according to their materials. The former, due to its high price and narrow application range, is mainly concentrated in military industry and high-end electronic products. For example, neodymium iron boron, samarium cobalt and other metal magnets, in recent years, due to resource constraints and the expectation of future applications increase, resulting in drastic price changes, seriously affecting the development of application fields and the promotion of new markets. Due to its low price and stable performance, non-metallic magnetic materials are suitable for severe and severe environment, so they are widely used in various fields. Ferrite permanent magnet is one of the most important non-metallic permanent magnet materials. The raw materials of permanent magnet ferrite are iron scales, iron red and other by-products of steel mill, which are made by firing in high temperature rotary kiln. Its technology is simple and mature, low price, low price per unit magnetic energy product, corrosion resistance, suitable for harsh working environment and other advantages, widely used in electronics, electrical, mechanical, transportation, medical and daily necessities and other fields.
According to the industrial chain, magnetic material manufacturing enterprises can be divided into the upstream manufacturing enterprises that produce powder raw materials with different properties and particle sizes and the downstream electronic components enterprises that use raw material magnetic powder to process products by different processing methods, such as sintering pressing molding, injection molding, extrusion, calendering, etc. In recent years, due to the state’s strong promotion of green, clean and environmental protection concepts, terminal home appliances, automobiles and other industries have put forward higher requirements for their motor and other accessories, such as high speed, high torque and low noise. Therefore, as raw material suppliers of electrical enterprises, magnetic powder and magnetic products enterprises are also actively developing and constantly innovating to face and meet the changes and challenges of the market. For example, in the ferrite permanent magnet industry, the development of the overall motor in the direction of high power output, high performance, lighter size and weight and thinner depends on the high performance, high stability and high reliability of permanent magnet devices. However, as the production technology and equipment of product enterprises are basically similar, there is little adjustment space for improving the high performance and multiple demands of magnetic products through equipment and technology, and permanent magnet powder material, as the basic raw material for the preparation of permanent magnet devices, is the most critical factor determining the quality of devices. Therefore, the manufacturing of high performance and high stability permanent magnet powder materials has become a key link in the development of the whole industrial chain and product appreciation in the field of magnetic materials, and the social demand is becoming more and more urgent. New and important demands are put forward for the quality and stability of materials, the automation degree of manufacturing process and the quality management level. The permanent magnet ferrite industry is required not only to produce environmentally friendly, non-toxic and harmless products, but also to pay attention to energy conservation and emission reduction in the production process, clean production, green and sustainable development.

Magnetic material production enterprise’s global distribution is very uneven, both magnetic powder industry raw materials and downstream magnetic products industry, with high value-added high-end products and assembly plant in more concentrated in Europe and the United States, Japan and other developed areas, and low profit margins, energy-intensive basic raw materials such as magnetic powder or mid-range device products in southeast Asia and other economically underdeveloped areas. This phenomenon especially in the permanent magnet ferrite industry is more prominent and obvious. According to the incomplete statistics of China Magnetic Materials Industry Association in 2016, the annual market demand of ferrite magnetic materials in the world is about 1 million T, and the ferrite produced and sold in the Chinese mainland is more than 60%. Ferrite scale enterprises are mainly distributed in the Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta in China, and there are also some manufacturers in central and western China, mainly producing raw material magnetic powder, medium and low-end magnetic tile, multi-pole rotor and other magnetic products. Ferrite magnetic products in today’s world can be divided into sintered and bonded products according to the processing mode: sintered products such as all kinds of dry pressure magnetic ring, magnetic tile and multi-stage magnetic ring products, bonded products such as injection, rolling or extrusion molding of various injection pellets, devices and motor magnetic strips. Magnetic products production layout showed two significant characteristics, one is more prominent in the Asian region, its center, the headquarters position. In addition to the former ferrite magnetic products kingdom – Japan still basically maintain the original production scale (including production in overseas factories), other Asian countries and regions have developed rapidly; Second, the focus of production is gradually shifting toward developing countries. Granular manufacturers for injection devices are concentrated in Japan, Korea and China. Due to countries such as Japan and South Korea injection magnetic industry started earlier, technology and equipment advantages, mainly in the production of high-end aggregate, the big Japanese injection aggregate enterprise aggregate performance magnetic energy product up to 2.2 M above, and general domestic enterprises can only do 2.1 M or so, highest product basic covers the low-end market.

To sum up, although the development prospect of magnetic material industry is relatively optimistic, it also faces great challenges. How to improve the business efficiency of enterprises and realize steady growth of enterprise performance under the situation of fierce market competition? Only relying on technological progress and continuous innovation can improve the market competitiveness of enterprises.