Is Neodymium a Rare Earth Magnet?
Pure neodymium is a rare earth element and can exist as an alloy of the most abundant element on earth, iron. Neodymium magnets are made from a neodymium alloy, and despite the name, neodymium is a relatively common metal found in abundance throughout the world. Is a neodymium magnet a rare earth magnet? We’ll get to the answers soon enough, but first, let’s take a sneak peek at what rare earth magnets are to understand the concept. Read on to learn more.
What Are Rare Earth Magnets?
A magnet manufactured from one of the rare earth elements, which are located in the Lanthanide class of metals in the periodic table, is referred to as a rare earth magnet. There are 17 such rare earth elements. Neodymium (Nd-Fe-B) and Samarium Cobalt are the two types of rare earth magnets that are used the most often (SmCo).
Because rare earth metals are not nearly as uncommon as they sound, the phrase “rare-earth” might be deceiving. They are found in concentrations comparable to popular commercial metals such as tin, copper, and zinc. They are very numerous in the crust of the earth. The most frequent ones are found in concentrations equivalent to these metals. They are referred to as “rare-earth” elements since they aren’t found in vast quantities that are concentrated. Instead, they are intertwined with other components, making extracting them logistically and financially difficult. Because of this, most of the world’s supply of rare earth elements comes from a very small number of sources.
Rare earth metals are produced in China at a rate of 140,000 metric tons per year, making it the most prolific producer of these elements in the world. The United States of America is the second biggest producer. However, its yearly production is just 38,000 MT. The Mountain Pass mine in California is the sole mine in the United States. Even though it is the second largest producer, the United States continues to rely largely on imports of rare earth minerals and metals due to the scarcity of domestic production. In contrast to China, Vietnam and Brazil are ranked ninth and tenth, respectively, with a one thousand metric tons production.
Ceramic or ferrite magnets, made of strontium carbonate and iron oxide, and alnico magnets do not perform as effectively as rare earth magnets such as neodymium magnets. On the other hand, rare earth magnets are currently the most powerful permanent magnets on the market.
Neodymium is rare light earth often found in roughly one-third of a NdFeB magnet. It is possible to substitute some of the neodymium with praseodymium, which is still another rare light earth (Pr). As a consequence, NdFeB magnets are also known as NdPr magnets.
What Exactly is a Neodymium Magnet (Sometimes Written as NdFeB)?
Permanent neodymium magnets are often referred to as “NdFeB” magnets, “Neo” magnets, or “NIB” magnets. These magnets are comprised of neodymium, iron, and boron. They belong to the family of rare-earth magnets and possess the strongest magnetic characteristics of all permanent magnets; in fact, they are far more powerful than samarium cobalt (SmCo), alnico, and ferrite. The fact that they have high magnetic strength, in addition to the fact that they are reasonably affordable, makes them a perfect option for a wide variety of applications across a variety of industries, including commercial, technical, and industrial.
Neodymium magnets, often known as NdFeB magnets, provide the highest performance while having the lowest magnet volume. They must be coated at all times to protect against the possibility of corrosion; common coatings include NiCuNi, Zinc, NiCuEpoxy, and Gold. The number of NdFeB magnets typically used is over 50 in variations. They have applications in almost every industry, including, but not limited to, the automotive, aerospace, wind turbine, military, white goods, lighting, food preparation, separation, and motor and generator industries, to name just a few.
Is Neodymium a Rare Earth Magnet?
According to the definition provided by IUPAC, a Rare Earth Element (REE) or Rare Earth Metal (REM) is one of a group of seventeen chemical elements that may be found in the periodic table. One of the rare earth elements, neodymium, is the primary constituent of neodymium magnets. Neodymium magnets are very powerful. As a result, magnets made of neodymium are said to be rare earth magnets.
Why are Rare Earth Magnets So Important?
Powerful permanent magnets derived from rare earth minerals are essential components of items that are parts of the climate economy, such as electric cars and wind turbines. These magnets are also used in other types of technology, such as mobile phones, refrigerators, missiles, and airplanes. They are an essential component of the worldwide supply chain for rare earth elements. They play a pivotal role in transforming refined minerals into inputs useful to producers of electronic goods and armaments.
Because of the great magnetic strength of NdFeB magnets, they can produce a significant amount of energy compared to their size and weight. Because of this, they are well suited for use in goods such as electric car motors, which need a high energy-to-weight ratio. The mobility of a large and heavy magnet would need a greater amount of energy, which would reduce the vehicle’s range. For instance, Tesla’s motors have been built using NdFeB permanent magnets.
Wind turbines are another use for neodymium rare earth magnets. Because the inclusion of rare heavy earth increases a magnet’s capacity to endure high temperatures, NdFeB magnets that include dysprosium and occasionally terbium are especially beneficial. This is because the presence of rare heavy earth makes the magnet more stable. Something more durable will need less maintenance, cutting down on expenditures that may quickly build up for offshore wind farms.
Do Magnets Made from Rare Earth Elements Lose Their Magnetism Over Time?
Rare earth magnets, in contrast to the vast majority of other varieties of magnets, have a high level of resistance to demagnetization. In most applications, their magnetism will not be changed, even when they are dropped or in the presence of other magnets.
However, if they are heated over their maximum working temperature, which for ordinary N grades is 176 degrees Fahrenheit (80 degrees Celsius), they will lose some of their strength. When heated over their Curie temperature, which for normal N grades is 590 degrees Fahrenheit (310 degrees Celsius), they lose all of their magnetism.
Our magnets are crafted using materials that can tolerate greater temperatures without experiencing a reduction in their tensile or magnetic properties. Here at ROBO Magnetic, we can offer NdFeB in a wide range of temperature ratings and grades. In addition, we provide a comprehensive selection of protective coatings for NdFeB magnets.
The Difference between Regular Magnets and Rare Earth Magnets
Magnets manufactured out of ceramic (or ferrite) are referred to as “normal” magnets, and they are used in various day-to-day applications. The magnets mostly consist of ferrite as one of their components. The ceramic substance known as ferrite is mostly made up of iron(III) oxide.
The key distinction between the two types of magnets is that ordinary magnets are mostly formed of iron and that rare earth magnets are permanent magnets manufactured from rare earth alloys. Rare earth magnets are permanent magnets created from rare earth alloys.
When compared to a regular magnet, the power of a rare earth magnet may range anywhere from two to seven times higher. Compared to a rare earth magnet of the same size, a ferrite or ceramic magnet will often only produce a magnetic field with a low output strength. In contrast, a rare earth magnet will produce a magnetic field with a high output strength. In most contexts, demagnetizing rare earth magnets requires more effort than other types of magnets.
The Applications of Neodymium
Magnets made of neodymium are used in various applications, both in the commercial and consumer spheres.
The following are some instances that often arise in the commercial and consumer sectors:
- Linear actuators
- Magnetic separators
- Microphone assemblies
- DC motors (automotive starters)
- Servo motors
- Medical devices
- Printers, Computer rigid disc drives, and speakers
- Traveling wave tubes
- Satellite systems
- Garage applications
- Lifting magnets for automotive
- Home Projects
- Door locks
The strength of neodymium magnets is what sets them apart from other types of magnets; in fact, they are the strongest magnets that can be purchased. In addition, they have a high rate of coercion (meaning they have a high resistance to demagnetization). Neodymium magnets are available from ROBO Magnetic for any application. You can count on us to not only offer assemblies and sub-assemblies according to client design drawings but also to assist you in selecting the ideal magnet for the application you have in mind. Please don’t hesitate to contact us immediately if you have any questions or want to discuss your unique magnet requirements with our team of specialists.
We provide free consultations to learn about your company’s requirements, after which we will customize a solution to fulfill those criteria. To find out more, please click here.