Your Guide To Magnet Materials

Choosing the right magnetic material for your application can be difficult, with several different materials available each with different characteristics and benefits.

Choices include Neodymium Magnets, Alnico Magnets, Samarium Cobalt, or Ferrite Magnets. Alongside, additional variations such as flexible magnets and electromagnets.

Here at Magnet Expert, we offer a complete range of magnetic materials for all applications and operating conditions, and as a leading magnet supplier with over 40 years of experience, we can help you make choosing a material simpler.

How many different types of magnets are there

A magnet’s composition and the source of its magnetism must be considered in order to first classify them, magnets that retrain their magnetism after they have been magnetised are known as permanent magnets.

Temporary magnets perform similarly to permanent magnets when close to a magnetic field but will rapidly lose that effect when removed from the magnetic field.

An electromagnet is a wire coil that will act as a magnet upon receiving electrical current, the strength of an electromagnet can also be adjusted by changing the strength and direction of the current.  

Different Magnetic Materials

Neodymium Iron Boron 9NdFeB)

Neodymium magnets are the most powerful magnets available with the ability to attract 1,000 times their own weight. They have an elaborate manufacturing process of vacuum melting, milling, pressing, and sintering.

These magnets can then be sliced into smaller magnets or ground to together tolerances using diamond grinding tools. All neodymium magnets are plated to prevent rusting and are used wherever a very small size and maximum power are needed.

Alnico

Alnico is cast in a foundry. Patterns are used to make sand moulds and molten magnet material is poured into sand moulds. The patterns, tooling, and high cost of cobalt can make alnico magnets expensive. Alnico can also be manufactured using a sintering process to form smaller and more accurate magnets than those formed using a casting technique.

Samarium Cobalt

Samarium Cobalt is manufactured using vacuum powder sintering technology and is sintered using special tooling techniques into the standard disc, ring, and block shapes.

These magnets can then be sliced into smaller magnets or ground to tighter tolerances using diamond grinding tools. Samarium cobalt is not as powerful as neodymium magnets but is still a rare earth high-power material. It offers high performance per unit volume and is used in high-power applications where long-term reliability is critical.

Ferrite (Fe3O4)

Ferrite is manufactured using powder sintering technology and is sintered using exact size tooling into a range of industry standard-sized discs, rings, and block shapes. An industry sized block is 150mm x 100mm x 25mm.

These blocks can be sliced into smaller magnets or ground to tighter tolerances. Ferrite magnets are used extensively in loudspeakers and security system industries.

Magnetic Rubber

Magnetic rubber is produced by heavily loading ferrite powder of barium or strontium into a synthetic rubber or PVC matric and either extruding to a shape or calendaring into thin sheets.

Magnetic rubber can be cut with scissors and can be supplied with adhesive backing, bright-coloured vinyl acing, easily cut into certain shapes and even custom printed to showcase your own designs.

Electromagnets

Electromagnets are also commonly known as solenoids and we have a wide range available to suit any application, with sizes ranging from 12mm to 203mm, and pull strengths from 1.8kg to 907kg. These energise to hold electromagnets, as their name suggests, become magnetised when an electric current is applied. This provides a secure magnetic hold leading to efficient performance for many automated lifting applications. This magnetic field is removed once the power is switched off.

Here at Magnet Expert, we welcome any enquiry about magnets and their applications. Contact us today on 0845 519 4701 or please feel free to email us at sales@magnetexpert.com.

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