A Review of UK Magnetics Society 30th Ewing Lecture
Even James Bond Gets Mentioned in the Magnet World
The Ewing event brings together the most knowledgeable magnetics experts in the UK and the 2016 event, held on the 30th November 2016, was sponsored by Bunting Magnetics Europe. Matthew Swallow, one of our Bunting Technical Sales team was in attendance and gave us this report.
UK Magnetics Society meetings are always interesting and informative, but the Ewing lecture is the magnet and magnetic assembly highlight event of the year. 2016 marked the 30th anniversary of the Ewing lecture and the presentations and discussions were themed around the changes and advancements since the UK Magnetics Society was first formed.
My personal favourite presentation related to Magnetocaloric Cooling from Prof Lesley Cohen from Imperial College. This was particularly relevant as Bunting has been involved with the production of the permanent magnet assembly used in the heart of the cooling system from one of the industrial partners.
Later in the day, there was a fascinating presentation on Superconducting Materials. This revealed that a widely recognised material Hydrogen Sulphide (yes, the gas with the potent eggy smell) became superconducting at only 203K. Sadly, this needs to be kept at 150GPa to have these useful characteristics, but that’s 170K hotter than the first researchers thought would be achievable and it is actually warmer than the coldest recorded temperature in Siberia.
As the day drew to a close, we discussed the last 30 years of magnetic materials and their pricing. Dr Boris Saje presented a brilliant summary on the development of new magnets and what key drivers prompted the new technology. In each case, there was a major international scare on a particular resource. A Cobalt Crisis triggered the development of Neodymium Iron Boron and the Dysprosium Crisis triggered the focus on low Dysprosium content magnets through grain boundary diffusion among other emerging new technology.
Sadly, the day could not be rounded up by one of the society’s most interesting personalities, Prof Rex Harris, due to illness. However, a last minute stand in was found and he delivered an eye opening review of atomic level magnetics. Who knew that muons were the 007 James Bond of the magnet analysis world?
The 30th Ewing lecture was a great event. The meeting of so many new and existing engineers in the field of magnets shows that there is bright future for magnetic development in the UK. At Bunting we intend to be at the forefront of these developments, ensuring that we are able to deliver magnets solutions to many of these future projects.
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