Magnets come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and powers to suit various purposes. From tiny refrigerator magnets to giant ones used for cyclotron experiments, there’s something suitable for everyone. Whichever type you select will determine its properties such as strength or size.
Neodymium Magnetic Magnets
Neodymium magnetic magnets, also referred to as neodymium-iron-boron (NdFeB) magnets, are composed of an ultrastrong and durable rare earth metal mix. They’re widely used in electronics applications as the strongest magnets currently available.
Samarium Cobalt Magnetic Magnets
In comparison to neodymium magnets, samarium cobalt magnets are rare earth permanent magnets with superior strength and coercivity/temperature characteristics. They can be utilized in many electronics applications and often serve as the go-to choice for specialist tasks.
Alnico Magnetic Magnets
Alnico magnets are composed of aluminium, nickel and cobalt. While not as powerful as neodymium or samarium magnets, these magnets still find application in various devices and products.
Ceramic Magnetic Magnets
Made up of sintered iron oxide and barium or strontium carbonate, ceramic permanent magnets are one of the most affordable and popular magnets on the market. Not prone to corrosion, they’re easy to manufacture too.
Electromagnets are temporary magnets that create a magnetic field using an electric current. They’re employed in numerous applications like TVs, computers, telephones and industrial lifting equipment.
Magnets are created by wrapping a wire around a magnetic core material that concentrates the magnetic flux. Once powered off, this magnet’s magnetic field is removed.
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Iron and nickel are two of the most widely-used ferromagnetic materials, both having a body-centred cubic (bcc) structure that exhibits magnetism when they come in contact. Other ferromagnetic compounds include bismuth, boron, and yttrium.
Magnetic devices often involve non-magnetic metals like lithium, magnesium and aluminium. Although these metals are not magnetic in their pure state, they may exhibit a weak magnetic attraction when mixed with certain other chemicals.
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Without a magnetic field, some atoms and ions in the material possess an intrinsic magnetic moment due to unpaired electrons in partially filled orbitals. These atomic magnetic moments can be randomly oriented and tend to align in opposite directions from one another – similar to how microscopic bar magnetism operates.
When a magnetic field is applied, some of these atomic magnetic moments can align in parallel with it and produce a ferromagnetic effect. This class of material has net positive magnetization when in a magnetic field and negative magnetization when not.
Other materials that exhibit magnetic attraction include paramagnetic and diamagnetic, which have a net magnetic attraction when pure but show weak magnetism when mixed together. These types of materials are frequently employed for making compass magnets.