TJ McDermott
User Rank
Rare Earth Components
TJ McDermott   9/23/2011 10:02:06 AM
Yesterday's articles included one about rare earth metal shortages caused by China cutbacks.  The product described in this article uses a neodymium magnet.  Is its component materials sourced from China?  Could this product have been made with a magnet that was not rare-earth, or something other than neodymium?

Charles Murray
User Rank
Re: Rare Earth Components
Charles Murray   9/23/2011 10:08:12 AM
TJ: I don't know if they could have used a different magnetic material, but I do know that they wanted a very powerful coupling force between the magnets because they are phyically separated by the plastic tube. It takes very strong hands to pull them apart. That's why they wanted neodymium.

TJ McDermott
User Rank
Re: Rare Earth Components
TJ McDermott   9/23/2011 10:10:33 AM
Charles, I assumed that to be the case, which is why I don't really believe trying to switch to non-rare-earth materials is a valid option to deal with political problems.

Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Good stuff
Beth Stackpole   9/23/2011 12:21:19 PM
I love these examples of small, relatively simple medical device applications that can deliver such big value and comfort to patients. Chuck, you say that the device has already been used on upwards of 1,000 patients. Does that mean it's an available offering that's cleared the requisite FDA approval process?

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