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Activity title

Explore Potential Science and Technology Solutions to Rare Earth Materials (REM) Dependency

Activity Reference

AVT-ET-188

Panel

Applied Vehicle Technology

Security Classification

NATO UNCLASSIFIED

Status

Active

Activity type

ET

Start date

2018

End date

2019

Keywords

Additive Manufacturing, ExchangeSpring Magnetism, Extractive Metallurgy, Generator, Material Processing, Mining, Motor, Rare Earth Element REE, Rare Earth Materials REM, Rare Earth Permanent Magnet, Rare Earth Separation, Recycling, REO

Background

Scarcity of rare earth materials (REM) and its impact on operational forces has been a high interest subject for NATO STO and NATO HQ. The AVT panel has directed and overseen multiple activities beginning with a Tech Watch Item and a Specialists’ Team in 2011. Recently a RLS (AVT-285) and a RTC (AVT-286) were developed and presented to five different audiences at five different locations. These two activities were a direct result of recommendations from the relevant Specialists’ Meeting (RSM-034). NATO officials and other event attendees highly encourage the team to maintain momentum and to engage with non-NATO countries to disseminate the material and to develop approaches to reduce the rest of the world dependency on a single supplier.

Objectives

As recommended by the former NATO Chief Scientist, the current CSO Director and the Dep Assistant Secretary General, this ET will explore potential S&T approaches and collaborations between scientists from NATO and non-NATO nations that would ultimately reduce or possibly eliminate NATO’s dependency on REMs which are a vital ingredient of nearly every advanced weapon system. The scope of the scientific objectives will include RE-free and RE-lean component designs; geology and mineral resource development; mining, mineral processing, and extractive metallurgy; separation techniques; metal and alloy production; recycling and re-manufacturing. The specific objective of the ET is to explore every step of the supply chain and then prioritize the relevant S&T approaches based on greatest potential impact. A deliverable (NU) of this ET will be a Report Out of recommendations on which of the collaborations to pursue along with defined approaches and expected goals of such collaborations (Identified in Section VI). A second less comprehensive deliverable will be “Releasable to the Public” for non NATO nations. This ET will provide TAPs for any recommended follow-on activities.

Topics

• RE Separation Techniques • Reduction of oxide to metals and alloys • Magnetic materials, RE-Free Magnetic Systems, Nano-Composite Exchange Spring Magnetism • Additive Manufacturing of REMs and Components Containing REMs • Advanced Electrical Machine Design

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