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Rare-earth-free motor for dual-clutch systems is ‘world’s first’

16 September, 2014

The South Korean components manufacturer, LG Innotek, claims to have developed the world's first motor for powering dual-clutch transmission (DCT) systems which contains no rare-earth materials. It is due to enter production next year in Mexico.

The company – part of the LG Group – is hailing the motor as “an important breakthrough” which will reduce car-makers’ reliance on rare-earth materials. China currently dominates the supply of rare-earth materials and prices have fluctuated widely in recent years. LG Innotek adds that the motor will also help to protect the environment because the mining, refining and disposal of rare-earth minerals can cause environmental damage.

Rare-earths such as neodymium and dysprosium have previously been considered essential for the manufacture of DCT motors due to their powerful magnetic properties.

LG Innotec’s motor is designed to power a dual-clutch automatic transmission in a fast and precise manner, enabling rapid and smooth switching of gears to suit different driving conditions. DCTs are up to 12% more fuel-efficient than standard automatic transmissions and 5% better than manual transmissions.

LG Innotek's DCT motor avoids the need for rare-earth materials

LG Innotek has spent more than two years developing its rare-earth-free DCT motor which, it claims, is 4% lighter than conventional DCT systems. It has applied for 13 Korean and foreign patents for the technology.




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