6 Quick Facts About Rare Earth Magnets You Should Know Before Buying
Are you contemplating investing in rare earth magnets for your project? Generally, there are two types of rare earth magnets: neodymium-iron-boron (NIB) and samarium-cobalt (SmCo). These two rare earth magnets are popular because of their superior performance and strength.
As their name suggests, they feature rare earth elements able to produce exceptionally potent magnetic fields. Because of these qualities, you can find rare earth magnets in almost any electronic gadget or equipment. Please keep reading for a few quick facts about rare earth magnets you should know.
Were First Developed in the 1960s
Rare earth magnets were first developed by US Air Force Materials Lab researchers in the late 1960s. These experts discovered that cobalt and yttrium, two naturally occurring elements, have magnetic properties. Because of this discovery, manufacturers took advantage of rare earth magnets and began mass-producing them for business purposes.
They Are Heat-Resistant
Did you know that rare earth magnets are heat-resistant? Ideally, these magnets have a significantly higher heat resistance level than their standard counterparts. However, some rare earth magnets have a higher heat resistance than others. For example, samarium-cobalt can withstand extreme temperatures without destroying its magnetic field.
Come in Multiple Shapes
Neodymium and other rare earth magnets come in various shapes and sizes depending on application requirements. Popular shapes include disks, rings, blocks, balls/spheres, and rods. Ideally, discs can be stuck in drill holes, rings in magnetic tasks, blocks in straight-edged bar applications, and rods in drilled hole applications.
Stronger Than Regular Magnets
When comparing magnetic strengths, rare earth magnets are stronger than standard magnets. Typically, magnetic strength is measured in Tesla. According to the University of Southern California, ceramic magnets, among other regular types, produce just about 0.5 Tesla. On the contrary, some types of rare earth magnets produce up to 1.4 Tesla, making them nearly three times more potent than standard magnets.
They Aren't Corrosion Resistant
While rare earth magnets are stronger, they have one notable weakness. These magnets aren't corrosion resistant, and when exposed to oxygen and moisture, they start rusting. Luckily, manufacturers can use specific additives to enhance their corrosion resistance. For instance, you'll find most neodymium rare earth magnets coated with nickel, zinc, or gold to prevent corrosion using a protective coating.
They Are Long-Lasting and Inexpensive
Generally, any magnet will eventually lose its strength over time. However, rare earth magnets don't experience the same age-based magnetic strength loss as their counterparts. Unlike other standard magnet types, rare earth magnets only lose a fraction of their magnetic power.
Unlike popular belief, rare earth magnets are relatively cheap. While earlier versions of rare earth magnets had a higher price tag, technological advancements have facilitated prompt and efficient production cycles. Because of this, they cost much less today compared to the past.
Contact a supplier to learn more about rare earth magnets.