Ever wonder about the neodymium magnet bracket in a HDD

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Darksky1x Darksky1x 3 weeks, 5 days ago.

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  • #2958
    Darksky1x
    Darksky1x
    Moderator

    As you probably know, hard drives use aluminum for the base case, stainless steel for the top cover, the platters contain a platinum alloy (not much), the circuit boards are premium grade boards, the read/write heads tend to have a little gold and the magnets are a neodymium iron boron composite (NdFeB) with a nickel plating to protect them from corrosion.

    But what about the neodymium magnet bracket(s) that the magnets are attached to? Ever wonder what metals they contain and what their value is?

    Well, these brackets are very special superalloy alloy known as permalloy. Permalloy is a nickel–iron magnetic alloy. The ones in a hard drive are 81% Nickel, 17% Iron and 2% molybdenum and they should be scraped separate from other metals to get the best price

    • This topic was modified 7 months ago by Darksky1x Darksky1x.
  • #3160

    nickton
    Participant

    How do you sell it and who pays for it ?

  • #3164
    Darksky1x
    Darksky1x
    Moderator

    That’s a very good question nickton! Considering the high nickle content (81%) in Permalloy any scrap yard that buys nickle should also buy it. Make sure you call around first and ask the yard if they buy permalloy as a breakout or specialty scrap. Most of them will probably respond “whats that?”. First question answered!

    After you explain what it is and the % make-up of the alloy ask if they buy nickle, their current price for nickle and , because of it’s high nickle content, what will they pay for permalloy as a nickle base metal.

    Currently I personally don’t know of any yards that buy permalloy as a break-out specialty metal. I don’t scrap very many HDD’s and my current on-hand supply of permalloy is less than 3 lbs.(not enough to actively call around and pursue the issue), but my pile keeps growing and (as with all scrap) it’s easier to flag and isolate the item separately until you have sufficient quantity of weight to warrant a trip to the scrap yard than it is to pick through a large pile of mixed metals down the road.

    That being said, in the last few days I have been lucky enough to meet someone who is, beyond a doubt, the most well informed and experienced person I have ever encountered in the scrap industry. Not only that but they also have resources and a data base that far exceeds anything that I even knew existed. If anyone knows of a yard anywhere in the world that has a pay-out price for permalloy as a stand-alone scrap, it will be them. I’ll run your question by them and let you know what their answer is.

    Again, thanks for asking that question!

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