A magnet is a material whose atoms and electrons are ordered to attract iron and some other metallic constituents. There are a north and south pole to every magnet that generate a field outside of itself and the poles exert force on each other. Poles that are alike repel each other and differing poles attract each other. Magnets are used in many applications, both for industrial and everyday uses. You may be familiar with the magnetized strip on your credit and debit cards, compasses, souvenirs and refrigerator magnets. They are found in jewelry, toys, tools and medical processes. Have you ever had an MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging evaluation, to allow the doctor to find the source of an ailment without invasive surgery? Rare earth magnets are also employed in computer hardware speakers. Electromagnets are used in electric motors and even guitars! As you can see, the possibilities are endless. However, not all magnets are created equal. Some materials can be magnetized or demagnetized, but there are several types of materials that are permanent magnets.
Two common permanent magnets are composites and rare earth magnets. Ferrite, or ceramic compounds of iron and other oxides. Ferrite cores are used in state of the art technologies. They used in coatings that absorb radar detection for stealth aircraft and find industrial application in electronic transformers and inductors. Permanent magnets made of ceramic material have properties like other familiar ceramics—they are both hard, and brittle.
The two most common earth magnets are made up of elemental alloys. Neodymium iron boron (NdFeB or NIB) is the strongest permanent magnet available commercially today. Another common rare earth magnet is samarium cobalt (SmCo). Although it has many applications, SmCo is more brittle than its superior counterpart neodymium and are known to crack and chip when under stress.
Discovered in 1982, neodymium magnets were created through efforts to drive down the cost of other permanent magnets. Since invention, the magnets made of neodymium have revolutionized the world of magnetics and their application. Often referred to as sintered neodymium iron boron magnets, or sintered NdFeB, they are part of a group called rare earth magnets. They are made by bonding neodymium magnet powder and binding materials such as rubber, nylon or plastics.
Neodymium magnets are unbelievably strong and sometimes referred to as “super strong magnets” or “super powerful magnets”. The strongest grades are N48, N50 and N52. When made with high grade ingredients, these magnets at a grade of N52 can exert a pull force of nearly 9 lbs. with just a ¼” block. Double that size to ½” and you get a pull force over 32 lbs.! Whether you’ve heard of neodymium magnets or not, you’ve almost certainly used them. They are found in popular consumer products such as iPhones, iPads, other mobile phones, speakers, computer hard drives, hybrid cars and more. These magnets can be purchased pre-fabricated or by custom order. Many of these technologies were not possible until the discovery of this rare earth magnet provided affordability.
Once manufactured out of the powdered format, neodymium magnets are not considered a hazardous material. They are safe for use in many industrial applications, appliances and food processing. The greatest hazard of neodymium magnets lies in not knowing the strength of the magnet. With small magnets holding such great pull force, the most common complaint result in body parts pinched between the magnet and a metal surface. The magnets on such a small scale can be a hazard to small children if swallowed and their powerful magnetic field can damage electronic devices and some other computer components and media.
At Magnet4Sale.com, CMS Magnetics offers a huge selection of neodymium magnets in different shapes and dimensions. If you are unable to find the proper dimensions in our product list, contact us today and we can help you customize an order to suit your needs!