Below is an excerpt from a recent IndustryWeek article by QuesTek director of client solutions Keith Fritz.
At any manufacturing conference, there’s likely to be at least one panel on sustainability. These conversations often involve emissions, energy use, supply chain and recycling.
Materials science is one overlooked way to optimize sustainability, particularly for manufacturers in high-performance industries such as aerospace, automotive, medical devices and luxury goods. These applications often use alloys that include rare earth elements (REEs), which can be environmentally harmful to mine and process.
Rare earth elements aren’t just included in alloys because they sound exotic — they often enable necessary material properties in a component. Reducing or eliminating REEs dramatically reduces the environmental impact of a product and typically reduces materials costs, too. Digital transformation of materials engineering has created new opportunities to develop materials without REEs.
To find out how rare earth elements make alloys amazing, why rare earth elements are not green, and how QuesTek is designing materials to reduce rare earth elements, continue reading at IndustryWeek.