Showa Denko (SDK) has agreed to transfer its business sector which conducts research and development on rare earth magnetic alloys to TDK Corp.
The assets subject to this transfer consist mainly of a business sector which conducts R&D in Chichibu Plant as a part of the Showa Denko Group’s rare earth magnetic alloy business and SDK’s intellectual property rights on rare earth magnetic alloys.
The transfer is expected to conclude by end of January 2019.
Rare earth magnets are used as materials necessary for downsizing and energy efficiency improvement of home appliances and motors installed in HDDs, wind turbines and factory automation devices.
SDK started to manufacture rare earth magnetic alloys in 1986. Since then, SDK has been developing new technologies, and developed alloys for neodymium magnets which do not contain heavy rare earth metals such as dysprosium (Dy) and terbium (Tb) but have magnetic force equivalent to conventional rare earth magnets.
TDK offers various products including electronic parts on the basis of the company’s original materials technologies centering on magnetic materials. In its magnet business, TDK has lines of neodymium magnets which contain plenty of rare earths and ferrite magnets, and offers them for use in various motors for many uses including automobiles, industrial equipment and ICT related products.
Recently, as electric vehicles (EVs) spread, global demand for magnets is expected to increase drastically, and development of magnets including development of customized alloys must be accelerated. Under these circumstances, SDK decided to transfer its R&D function and intellectual property rights concerning rare earth magnetic alloys to TDK, aiming to accelerate commercialization of high-performance rare earth magnets and development of leading-edge magnetic alloys applicable to hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles.
TDK said it believes that this transfer enables it to enhance the quality of neodymium magnets from the level of materials. It is another step towards achieving its target of zero defects, and providing safe and secure TDK products to customers in a timely manner.
Furthermore, SDK will continue production of rare earth magnetic alloys in its Chichibu Plant after the transfer of its R&D function and intellectual property rights concerning rare earth magnetic alloys to TDK.