The United States has banned imports of a range of rare earth materials from Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea that can be used in military applications, the US Defense Department.
WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – 30th April, 2019) The United States has banned imports of a range of rare earth materials from Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea that can be used in military applications, the US Defense Department said in a notice on Monday.
“[The Defense Department] prohibits acquisition of samarium-cobalt magnets, neodymium-iron-boron magnets, tungsten metal powder, and tungsten heavy alloy or any finished or semi-finished component containing tungsten heavy alloy melted or produced in North Korea, China, Russia, and Iran, because these materials play an essential role in national defense,” the notice stated.
Samarium-cobalt magnets and neodymium-iron-boron magnets are rare earth magnets with many military applications, particularly in aviation and navigation, such as sonar, radar, and guidance systems, the notice said.
The magnets, which produce a high magnetic force and can withstand demagnetization at high temperatures are essential to many military weapons systems, the notice said.
Limits on imports of tungsten are due in part to the metal’s use as a casing for nuclear warheads, according to the notice.
Imports of the restricted rare earths from other countries are still permitted if the materials are not available in the United States, the notice said.
The ban is effective April 30, but the notice initiated a period for public comment before the interim rule becomes permanent.
Source Link www.urdupoint.com
Critical Defense Uses
Rare earth elements play an essential role in our national defense. The military uses night-vision goggles, precision-guided weapons, communications equipment, GPS equipment, batteries, and other defense electronics. These give the United States military an enormous advantage. Rare earth metals are key ingredients for making the very hard alloys used in armored vehicles and projectiles that shatter upon impact.
Substitutes can be used for rare earth elements in some defense applications; however, those substitutes are usually not as effective and that diminishes military superiority. Several uses of rare earth elements are summarized in the accompanying table
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