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Are Neodymium Magnets the Strongest?

What is a Magnet?

A magnetic field-producing item capable of attracting unlike poles and repelling similar poles. Magnets are produced of ferromagnetic metals, which are a kind of metal. These metals include nickel, iron, and cobalt, to name a few. These metals are notable for their ability to be magnetized evenly. Other metals that may be magnetic include rare earth element alloys. But how exactly do magnets work? Let’s talk about the basics!

Every atom contains electrons, which are charged particles. The electrons that make up an atom’s nucleus, or core, spin like tops. Because of their mobility, electrons function like small magnets, producing an electric current. Magnetism is caused by moving electric charges. Magnetism is the force that magnets exert when they attract or repel one another. However, unlike electric field lines, their directionality does not extend straight from the source. They produce a bean-like shape by moving from their heads to their feet. A magnet is a dipole because its shape gives the appearance of two poles at work. Monopoles, on the other hand, are electric charges that radiate in rippling electric fields.

Magnets are produced of ferromagnetic metals, which are a kind of metal. These metals include nickel, iron, and cobalt, to name a few. These metals are notable for their ability to be magnetized evenly. Other metals that may be magnetic include rare earth element alloys.

The magnets are further classified into three: permanent magnets, temporary magnets, and electromagnets. Their remanence and magnetic conductivity distinguish the three. Permanent magnets are magnets that produce their magnetic field. They are also known as hard magnets and are claimed to have significant remanence properties. Neodymium is a type of hard permanent magnet. Soft magnets have a low remanence. They are readily magnetized and demagnetized with reversible magnetic fields. They are unable to generate or sustain their magnetic field. Iron is a good example of a gentle magnet. Iron is so easily pulled to and away from magnetic fields that it may be brushed or flicked away. An electromagnet’s mechanism is considerably different. An electromagnet is made by wrapping a wire around a ferromagnetic substance and passing an electrical current through it. This magnet creates a magnetic field when the electricity is turned on. An electrical current may be created by passing a magnet through a wire coil. An electric current can magnetize some materials. A magnetic field is created when electricity passes through a wire coil. However, the field surrounding the coil will vanish as soon as the electric current is turned off. This engagement can either be reciprocated or reversed.

What is a Neodymium Magnet?

The fourth member of the lanthanide family of rare earth elements is neodymium. According to the periodic chart, it has an atomic number of 60. Neodymium does not naturally exist in metallic form or unmixed with other lanthanides, yet it is unexpectedly the 27th most common element in the Earth’s crust. They are constructed of neodymium, boron, and iron alloy and are the most well-known rare earth magnets. In its pure form, neodymium has magnetic properties and is specifically antiferromagnetic, but only at temperatures below 19 K (254.2 °C; 425.5 °F). They are classified according to their magnetic field output strength, resistance to demagnetization, temperature coefficients, and maximum suggested working temperature. Sintered NdFeB magnets are classified in a way that is widely accepted worldwide. They have values ranging from 28 to 52. The initial N before the values denotes neodymium or sintered NdFeB magnets. Following the numbers are letters that reflect intrinsic coercivity and maximum operating temperatures. These are related to the Curie temperature and range from the default (up to 80 °C or 176 °F) to the TH (230 °C or 446 °F). A higher number indicates a more powerful magnet. However, regardless of gradation, all neodymium magnets demonstrate remarkable magnetization compared to all other types of magnets. Neodymium magnets are extremely strong due to their high saturation magnetization and resistance to demagnetization. One of the primary advantages of the NdFeB magnet is the ability to use a smaller magnet to perform the same job as a larger one. As a result, the total size of the equipment may be reduced while the overall cost is reduced.

How was It Discovered?

Dr. Carl Auer von Welsbach, an Austrian scientist and inventor invented the first neodymium magnet in 1885 by dividing didymium into the new, unique elements neodymium (“new didymium”) and praseodymium (“green didymium”). The original names of the elements would subsequently be changed to neodymium and praseodymium, respectively. Dr. von Welsbach presented his inventions to the Vienna Academy of Sciences on June 18, 1885. The majority of scientists responded to it more skeptically than enthusiastically. Robert Bunsen, who also created the Bunsen burner, supported the discovery made by Auer von Welsbach, but many other chemists dismissed him. Dr. von Welsbach’s innovations weren’t recognized until over a century later. Neodymium-iron-boron alloy, or Nd2Fe14B, the substance that goes into making neodymium magnets, was first utilized in 1982. The rising cost of the primary component for cobalt and samarium permanent magnets served as the impetus for General Motors (GM) and Sumitomo Special Metals to create the Nd2Fe14B combination. In 1986, General Motors introduced Magnequench, which later merged with Molycorp. GM created and commercialized melt-spun nanocrystalline isotropic Neo powder to create bound Neo magnets. Full-density sintered Nd2Fe14B magnets were developed and are now being produced by Sumitomo Special Metals, a division of Hitachi Corporation, under license for other companies. Hitachi currently holds more than 600 patents related to neodymium magnets.

What’s the Main Difference Between Neodymium Magnets and Regular Magnets?

The main difference is that neodymium magnets have almost ten times more strength than regular magnets. Because of this, their versatility in use is very far. Most of the time, regular magnets are temporary and do not have as many industrial, electric, and automotive uses as permanent magnets do. Today, neodymium magnets are the most used magnets because of their many applications in many fields including, but not exclusive to, industrial, electric, automotive, healthcare (MRIs, apparatus, etc.), and even entertainment (toys, audio-video gadgets, etc.).

Are Neodymium Magnets the Strongest?

Neodymium magnets are hard permanent magnets with the strongest magnetic characteristics of any permanent magnet. Because of their great resistance to demagnetization (coercivity) and high degrees of magnetic saturation, neodymium magnets may create huge magnetic fields. The maximum energy product value (BHmax) of a magnet, measured in Mega Gauss Oersteds, represents its strength (MGOe). The maximum energy product is the area under the second quadrant hysteresis loop graph and is a product of remanence (Br) and coercivity (Hc). They may be painful if you get caught in their path, and they can attract metal and each other. As discussed above, neodymium magnets have values ranging from 28 to 52, with the higher numbers having higher remanence or strength. Although N42 is the most popular grade, N52 is the strongest neodymium block and has a vertical support capacity of 116 kg. The neodymium block is the strongest magnet, thanks to its 5,500 Gauss magnetic field. So, as of 2022, the N52 neodymium magnet is considered to be the strongest known in the market.

Neodymium magnets may be utilized in any setting and come in various sizes, shapes, and grades. The priciest form of the magnet is also the most potent. They are available on the market for a reasonable price, unlike their more economical siblings. According to a recent Grand View Research, Inc. report, the global neodymium market is expected to reach USD 3.39 billion by 2028. It is expected to increase at a 5.3% CAGR between 2021 and 2028. Neodymium magnets are used in a variety of consumer and automotive electrical devices. In terms of end-user, the automotive sector led the market with a revenue share of more than 55.0% in 2020. They are also essential for air conditioning inverters, washing machines, dryers, and refrigerators. According to projections, the healthcare business will also provide new prospects for market vendors as it implements MRI scanners and other medical equipment.

Although the increasing demands for permanent magnets with similar characteristics are pushing manufacturers to innovate a stronger magnet, neodymium remains the number one option. It is still the top contender as the strongest magnet.

Since neodymium is an in-demand magnet that should be handled cautiously, one must contact a knowledgeable supplier of magnets. ROBO Magnetic produces neodymium magnets of different kinds. Moreover, ROBO Magnetic can inform and educate people on the uses and dangers of using neodymium magnets. They have numerous articles, including what you must know when ordering custom neodymium magnets and how to handle them safely. To read more about their articles, you may check out their TechTalk Blog at www.robomagnetic.com/terminology. Moreover, you may learn more about ROBO Magnetic here: www.robomagnetic.com.

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Article by

ROBO Magnetic Product Team

We are the manufacturer with 16 years of experience in custom neodymium magnets.

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