South Korean electronic parts manufacturer LG Innotek Company announced it had developed a powerful magnet which it claimed was also more environment friendly than those currently in use.

LG Innotek claimed the new magnet, which it developed jointly with local company Sunglim Group Industry Company, reduces the use of heavy rare-earth (HRE) metals by 60% compared with technology currently in use.

The magnet’s stronger power output also improves the performance of electric motors currently used to drive electric vehicles, as well as home appliances and electronic products.

LG Innotek said in a statement: “This is a meaningful development since industry is struggling to find alternatives of HRE metals due to their lack of supply, high price and environmental pollution issues.

“The development of the eco magnet is particularly significant considering that South Korea imports most of its HRE metals from China.”

The company added the new technology helps improves the performance of magnets in home appliances and vehicle motors to 14.8-kilogauss (kG), compared with 14.2-14.3kG which it said is the typical strength of magnets in commercial use today.

See also: Nissan testing new rare earth recycling process