What Are Ceramic Magnets?

Ceramic or ferrite magnets are low-cost and light-weight, and are a relatively high-energy member of the permanent magnet family. Iron oxide and strontium carbonate, the two materials in ceramic magnets, are easily attainable and available at lower costs than other materials used to make permanent magnets.

What Are the Benefits of Electromagnets?

Electromagnets are a combination of electricity and magnetism. In an electromagnet, the magnetic field is produced by an electric current and disappears when the magnet is turned off. Through controlled use of electricity, the electromagnet can attract and hold heavy iron, scrap steel and other ferrous materials. The primary benefit of an electromagnet over a standard magnet is that the strength can be controlled. Our line of electromagnets will safely pick-up and move your material.

How Do Magnetic Strips Work?

Their maximum power is thanks to a multi-pole magnetization pattern which provides greater concentration of magnetic strength on the face. Conventional magnetization is also available. With high-tack pressure-sensitive adhesive, strips are flexible and strong, making them ideal where rigid or brittle materials cannot be used.

Magnetic Strip Sizes

Bunting® Magnetic Strips are sold by the roll and in pre-cut lengths. Lengths are noted on product pages. Plus, if you cannot find the width you are looking for, we can slit or score to any width.

Magnetic Tape Sizes

We offer standard widths that are in stock and ready to ship, but we can slit or score our magnetic tape to a custom width based on your specifications. Magnetic tape is sold by the roll or in pre-cut strips. It is available in both standard energy and high energy versions.

Applications for Magnetic Tape

By simply peeling and sticking, magnetic tape lets you turn any surface into a magnetic surface. This product is excellent for DIY enthusiasts, retailers, students, and many others. Its diverse nature allows it to be useful in a broad range of applications.

How Do Magnetic Sheets Work?

Type S Flexible Magnetic Sheets are available from stock as plain sheets, with pressure-sensitive adhesive and are available in natural, gloss white or hi-gloss white. Flexible Magnetic Sheets can become distorted, especially at high temperatures, and should be stored flat or rolled with the magnetized side in.

IS Series Magnetic Catches

The IS Series Catches are cylindrical magnetic catches encased in a plastic sleeve. The front surface is round. In a ribbed body, they hold tightly in the given position and a flange ensures accurate positioning.

Raly Series Magnetic Catches

The Raly Series Catches are designed for surface mounting on wood or metal. The pole pieces are locked into the plastic body. Two oblong slots allow for adjustment. As the pole pieces are fixed, an appropriate mobile Counterplate is supplied.

F Series Magnetic Catches

The F Series Catches have a white, impact-resistant polystyrene body with an acetyl resin spring to act as a shock absorber and keep the pole pieces forward.

Slimline Series Magnetic Catches

In the Slimline Series, this extra flat model is made from a high performance magnetic rubber. The mobile pole pieces are cushioned by a damper for shock absorption and to take up play. Constructed of a magnet embedded in a steel channel, or a magnet sandwiched between two steel plates, these magnets provide strong pull for their sizes. Most come with mounting holes.

Elite Brass and Elite Chrome Series

The Elite Brass Series and Elite Chrome Series are a range of contemporary designed high quality catches for use with cabinets. These Elite catches can be mounted on the surface. In this series the magnetic assembly is encased in a brass or chrome housing Elite Knock In magnetic catches are designed to be flush mounted, and knocked in beneath the surface of the wood, requiring no adhesive. They will continue to work over an air gap to offer a near silent and sophisticated, smooth closure.

Elite Tap In and Elite Tap Catches

Elite Tap In and Elite Tap In with Spike are magnetic catches, also designed to be flush mounted, and tapped in beneath the surface of the wood. They will continue to work over an air gap to offer a near silent and sophisticated, smooth closure. These Elite catches come threaded to hold them securely in place. BUYMAGNETS.com tests on a flat, machined steel plate, 1/2” thick. If the surface is rough, rusty or painted, the holding force may be reduced. For critical applications, build in a safety factor of two or three.

Lattam Magnets

In addition to a line of Door Stops, we have a wide selection of Lattam Magnets. Lattam Magnets consist of ferrite or neodymium magnets bonded onto a metal plate. The magnetic side has several poles while the opposite side has no magnetic attraction. Lattam Magnets are used for any type of attachment, position, device or catch. The Anti-Slip Lattam Magnet provide excellent resistance to slippage. There are Over-Molded options as well.

Standard Magnetic Sheet Fanners

Standard Sheet Fanners are completely self-contained and come with both predrilled mounting holes for permanent installation and carrying handles for moving between workstations. They are available in two standard face widths and can be stacked one above the other or mounted side-by-side to accommodate a wide range of stack and sheet sizes.

Grades of Samarium Cobalt

They are available in three grades; 18, 22 and 26. The samarium cobalt magnet energy products of these alloys are 18 Mega Gauss Oersteds (MGOe), 22 (MGOe) and 26 (MGOe). The magnets are rich in cobalt and contain other elements such as iron and copper.

What Are Ceramic Magnets Used For?

Common applications for Ceramic Magnets include:

  • Numerous manufacturing or home applications
  • Speaker magnets
  • DC Motors
  • Reed switches
  • Sweepers
  • MRI’s
  • Hall-Effect devices in assemblies
  • Automotive Sensors

How Are Ceramic Magnets Made?

Ceramic magnets are made using a sintering process. The wet milling process produces slurry which is fed into a die. This material is pressed into a product, which is later sintered at a high temperature. Once cooled, ceramic magnets are ground and cut to desired shapes.

Safety Tips When Using Ceramic Magnets

Ceramic magnets are brittle and break easily. When using, please be aware that ceramic magnets can possibly chip, break, or even shatter if dropped or allowed to jump to something it is attracted to.

Wall Mounted Magnetic Door Stops

Series 1 firmly holds panels, gates or doors which must be securely held in the presence of vibrations, drafts or sudden acceleration. The body of the door stop is slightly flexible. Wall Mounted Door Stops feature a compact magnet housed in a flexible neoprene sleeve.

Floor Mounted Magnetic Door Stops

Series 2 firmly holds panels, gates or doors which must be securely held in the presence of vibrations, drafts or sudden acceleration. The body of the door stop is slightly flexible. The Floor Mounted option features a PVC sleeve housing.

Grate Magnets (Hopper Magnets)

Grate Magnets (Hopper Magnets) provide a properly configured, high-density magnetic field to trap and hold ferrous fines, fragments, and small metal objects as it passes through the stainless steel tubing. They can be installed – or simply laid – inside hoppers, housings, and bins – and easily removed for cleaning. Grates are built for low-abrasion applications and should measure at least twice the size of your outlet opening, so as not to restrict product flow. Grate Magnets (Hopper Magnets) are available with ceramic magnets or high intensity rare earth neodymium magnets, round or square, in a variety of sizes.

Plate Magnets

Plate Magnets are installed in enclosed flow lines easily and economically to remove ferrous fines as well as large pieces of tramp iron. Ideal applications for plate magnets are free-flowing or pneumatically conveyed powdery, moist, lumpy or abrasive products that might choke or cause rapid wear in cartridge-based separators. Plate Magnets can also be installed above conveyors or below conveyor drive pulleys to capture contaminants as material drops from open belts. Available with ceramic magnets or high intensity rare earth magnets in a variety of sizes. For very fine metal particles, we suggest rare earth magnets.

Magnetic Drawers

Bunting Drawer Magnets are the industry’s best for superior contaminant capture in gravity free-fall applications. With over 100,000 Bunting magnetic separation drawers in use today, these are the plastic industry’s most trusted, most used and most popular magnet to ensure product purity. Staggered rows of temperature-compensated, high intensity neodymium magnets instantly stop metal, purifying your product, before it enters your expensive extrusion, injection, or blow molding equipment. Bunting offers the most complete line of drawer magnets here. However, if you need a standard drawer magnet, choose a 6” square or 8” square and order today for immediately shipment.

Magnetic Head Pulleys

Our Magnetic Head Pulleys (Pulley Separators or Magnetic Conveyor Pulleys) are an easy, reliable solution to separate ferrous from non-ferrous in your product stream. Used at the discharge end on belt conveyors, they provide maximum continuous protection against tramp iron in the processing of materials such as recycled products, chemicals, food and grain, plastics, coal and other mining. Easily installed, they require no maintenance or cleaning. The magnetic pulleys come standard with ceramic magnets; rare earth magnets are available upon request. Stainless steel shell construction. Pulleys are available in diameters of 6″, 8″, 10”, and 12″. Widths range from 14” to 38”. XT Hubs and Bushings are standard.

Benefits of Magnetic Sheet Fanners

Separate Stacked Ferrous Sheets with Permanent Magnetic Power. Put an end to manually prying apart oily, sticky, polished or prefinished ferrous sheets. Bunting® Permanent Magnetic Sheet Fanners are a faster, safer alternative for handling stacks of sheet stock. They provide a constant, powerful magnetic force that automatically fans sheets apart – without the risk of electrical hazards. An electromagnetic field automatically separates the sheets.

How do Magnetic Sheet Fanners Work?

An electromagnetic field automatically separates the sheets. As fast as the top sheet is removed, the next sheet instantly moves up and is ready to be handled. Machine operators and robotic arms can reliably and safely remove one sheet at a time, eliminating the chance of “doubles” jamming or damaging your machinery.

Inside their rugged, stainless steel housings, Bunting® Sheet Fanners use high-energy permanent magnets to separate stacks by inducing like polarities in adjacent sheets, causing magnetic repulsion between them. This repulsion fans the sheets apart. When the top sheet is removed, the next sheet rises to take its place. The distance between the top two sheets will average between 3/4” to 1 1/4”, depending on the magnetic strength of the Fanner and the size of the sheets. Fanners can be ganged to handle especially large or heavy-gauge sheets.

Switchable Magnetic Sheet Fanners

Bunting® Switchable Sheet Fanners are available in Generation I and Generation II models, both of which can be “turned off” to avoid accidents while being resupplied with sheets. Both models are patented (U.S. Patent No. 6,481,706) and outfitted with powerful Rare Earth magnets for outstanding separation performance. Both feature reliable pneumatic mechanisms to turn the magnetic field on and off.

Generation I Switchable Sheet Fanners use a pneumatic rotary actuator to control the fanning action by rotating a single-pole Rare Earth magnetic element, which is mounted near the center of the housing. Generation I Switchable Fanners are a compact 4” wide to fit tight spaces and handle lighter loads.


Generation II Switchable Sheet Fanners have a 7” wide face plate and produce a stronger fanning action suited to larger blanks and thicker gauge steel. They use a conventional pneumatic cylinder to rotate a two-pole Rare Earth magnetic element mounted at a pivot point set close to the side of the housing. With this side-pivot geometry, rotating the magnet just 90 degrees faces it toward a built-in shorting circuit to cancel the external field.

Sheet Metal Handles

Magnetic Sheet Metal Handles are economical and reliable. Sheet Metal Handles permit safe and efficient handling of sheet metal and hard-to-handle metal parts. Select the model you need for light to heavy lifting. Our Handles are ideal for separating oiled sheets, pulling sheets from racks, and positioning sheets for welding. Just lower the handle for quick release.

Press Feeders

Magnetic Press Feeders are tools that provide lightweight construction, split-second release, and low clearance. These permanent magnet, safety-approved Feeder Tools feature positive pickup and fast release. Lightweight, they reduce work fatigue, increase worker efficiency, and reduce time lost from accidents. Lifting capacities are based on overall length of tool, size of sheets, scale on the sheets, if any, and flatness of sheets at the point of contact with magnet.

Magnetic Clean-Out Tool

Our Magnetic Clean-Out Tool retrieves ferrous metal objects in dip tanks, plating tanks, heat bake ovens, or oil reservoirs. Its Alnico 5 magnet is attached to a 48” wood handle.

Flexible Magnet Tool

Our Flexible Magnet Tool is a handy item for the tool kits of mechanics, machinists, and repairmen. This 18’‘ long Flexible Magnet Tool is a big time saver in picking up small parts that have fallen into inaccessible places.

Sweeper Bars

These can be clamped under forklifts, or suspended underneath vehicles to make magnetic sweeping faster and to pick up larger debris.

Tow Sweepers

These can be hitched to your forklifts, tractors, or maintenance vehicles to clear away ferrous parts and debris. They can also be manually pushed or pulled.

Magnetic Drive Rollers

Drive Rollers move and control sheet stock ranging from .010 inch thin plate sheets to over .250 inch thick. Bunting’s exclusive design is engineered for trouble-free, efficient handling of sheet stock.

What Pitch Type Do I Need?

A is Standard Pitch: suitable for workpieces above 3mm.


AA is Fine Pole Pitch: suitable for small or thinner workpieces below 3mm and helps to avoid distortion in thinner parts.

What Makes Our Magnetic Chucks Better?

The advantages of a BuyMagnets.com Chuck over standard holding methods are:

  • Minimal clamping time needed between piece swap over.
  • Faster feed rates coupled with higher material removal than standard magnetic chucks.
  • Excellent access allowing up to 5 face machining.
  • The permanent magnetic design means that the part is always clamped even in the event of a power failure.

High-Performance Magnetic Chucks

Our higher-performance range of Magnetic Grinding and Magnetic Milling Chucks have been engineered to produce a new class-leading holding force. This results in even higher rates of productivity gains than standard Magnetic Chucks.

Durable Construction

Our high-precision, parallel ground faces are extremely durable, requiring minimal maintenance. Magnetic Chucks are designed to complement the rugged construction and exceptional Rare Earth Neodymium Magnet technology.

Why Are Power Supplies Needed?

A power supply is required in order to properly operate an electromagnet, as electromagnets must be able to release ferrous objects as readily as they attract and hold them. Release is the function of the power supply—not the magnet.

Power supplies render a reverse current that ensures positive release of even those alloy steels that retain induced magnetism extremely well. All Bunting Power Supplies are designed to provide D.C. power for industrial electromagnets.

BPS3 Power Supplies are ideal for robotics or “pick and place” applications.

Consult for technical recommendations.

What Are Electromagnets Used For?

Electromagnets require little maintenance, and can be utilized in many different manual and automated applications. Electromagnets are frequently used to increase production and facilitate automation within various facilities. They are well-suited for applications where materials must be picked up at one location, held tightly while being transported, and then released at a destination.

Can Electro Power Be Controlled?

Yes! The ability to switch an electromagnet’s current on and off has several advantages. One advantage is that when an electromagnet is not in use, it may be powered off for safe, risk free transfer. If handing a permanent magnet, the magnetic field will remain present, and could result in inconveniences or injury if the permanent magnet is allowed to be attracted to unwanted items when being transported. The ability to switch an electromagnet’s current on and off is what enables the unique portative feature of electromagnets. When the electromagnet’s magnetic field is turned on, it can pick up an item such as a heavy metal sheet and safely hold it while the item is traveling across a warehouse, for example. Then, once the item reaches its destination, the electromagnet can be turned off, allowing for safe release of the item.

How Are Electros Different From Other Magnets?

An electromagnet’s main benefit compared to a standard, or permanent magnet, is that the strength of an electromagnet can be controlled. Because an electromagnet runs on electricity, its strength can be adjusted at any time based on how much electric current is allowed to flow through it. This is the greatest advantage of electromagnets, but also their greatest disadvantage, as electromagnets must have a constant flow of electrical current in order to maintain their magnetic field.

How Do Electromagnets Work?

Electromagnets work by utilizing a combination of electricity and magnetism. In an electromagnet, the magnetic field is produced by an electric current, which then disappears when the magnet is turned off. Through controlled use of electricity, an electromagnet is capable of attracting and holding ferrous materials such as heavy iron, scrap steel, and more.

What are Magnetic Sheet Fanners?

Bunting® Permanent Magnetic Sheet Fanners are a faster, safer alternative for handling stacks of sheet stock. Magnetic sheet fanners can put an end to manually prying apart oily, sticky, polished or prefinished ferrous sheets.

Magnetic sheet fanners provide a constant, powerful magnetic force that automatically fans sheets apart – without the risk of electrical hazards. Machine operators and robotic arms can reliably and safely remove one sheet at a time, eliminating the chance of “doubles” jamming or damaging your machinery.

What are Neodymium Magnets?

Neodymium magnets are a member of the rare earth magnet family, and are the most permanent magnets in the world. They’re composed of Neodymium (Nd), Iron (Fe) and Boron (B), which makes them vulnerable to rust if they’re exposed to the elements. To protect the magnet from corrosion and to strengthen the brittle magnet material, the magnet is usually coated with nickel.

Things to Know When Using Neodymium Magnets

If left exposed to the elements, the iron in the magnet will rust. To protect the magnet from corrosion and to strengthen the brittle magnet material, we recommend coating the magnet in nickel plating. Other coating options are zinc, tin, copper, epoxy, silver and gold.

Neodymium magnets must be handled with care to avoid injury and damage to you and the magnet. Keep the following things in mind when handling neodymium magnets:

  • Fingers and hands can get severely pinched between two attracting magnets. It is important that they be kept out of the reach of small children.
  • Neodymium magnets are brittle and can peel, crack or shatter if allowed to slam together.
  • Eye protection should be worn.
  • Neodymium magnets can also damage items such as credit cards, magnetic identification cards, or video tapes.
  • Never place neodymium magnets near electronic devices. It is crucial to never allow them near a person with a pacemaker or similar medical aid.
  • Neodymium magnets should not be machined. The material is brittle and prone to chipping and cracking, so it does not machine well by conventional methods. Machining the magnets will generate heat, which if not carefully controlled, can demagnetize the magnet or even ignite the material which is toxic when burned.

Neodymium Applications

Neodymium magnets have a variety of uses, which makes perfect sense considering they’re extremely strong, and affordable. Here are just a few of the ways you’ll see neodymium magnets applied to everyday life:

  • Electronics — Cell phones, loudspeakers, headphones, and more everyday electronics use neodymium magnets.
  • Industrial applications — Alternators, flow meters, linear actuators, gyroscopes.
  • Clamps — A couple neodymium blocks or cubes are perfect for holding pieces of metal in place. This is most common when used for welding, drilling, or machining purposes.
  • Green Energy — Both hybrid and electric vehicles employ neodymium magnets, as do wind turbines.
  • Healthcare — Pacemakers and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines use neodymium magnets.
  • Oil Filters — Ever wonder how metal chips are filtered out of oil? Neodymium magnets!
  • Stud Finders — These magnets are powerful enough to find hidden nails and other metal pieces inside walls.
  • Magnetic Therapy — For those who use magnetic therapy as a healing tool, neodymium magnets fit the bill perfectly. There are different sized blocks to choose from depending on the size of the body being worked on.
  • Closers — Need to hold a brochure, box, binder, or other presentation piece shut? Neodymium magnets are perfect for the job.
  • Toys — You’ve probably played with magnets at some point in your life. They were probably neodymium magnets! They’re used quite often as entertainment.
  • Remagnetization — Neodymium magnets can be used to put the magnetization back in other types of magnets, such as Alnico horseshoes and other bar magnets.
  • Metal Detectors — Did you know neodymium magnets are used in metal detectors?

High Heat and Neodymium Magnets

Like other rare earth magnets, neodymium magnets have a high resistance to demagnetization. They will not lose their magnetization around other magnets, or if dropped. However, neodymium magnets will completely lose their magnetization if heated above their Curie temperature, which is 590°F (310°C) for standard N grades. BuyMagnets.com offers a selection of neodymium disc magnets that are of high-temperature material, which can withstand higher temperatures without losing strength.

Neodymium magnets are available for standard temperature and high-temperature applications. Standard temperature neodymium magnets will begin to lose strength if they are heated above their maximum operating temperature, which is 180°F (80°C). High-temperature neodymium magnets can safely be used at operating temperatures up to 300° Fahrenheit (149° Celsius).

Safety Tips When Using Samarium Cobalt

  • Samarium cobalt is manufactured by a sintering process, and inherent cracks are possible.
  • Samarium cobalt magnets can easily chip; eye protection must be worn when handling them.
  • Samarium cobalt alloys are typically machined in an unmagnetized state, using a wet grinding process. The grinding waste produced must not be allowed to completely dry as samarium cobalt has a low ignition point.
  • Keep samarium cobalt magnets away from children.

Samarium Cobalt Material

Samarium cobalt magnets are extremely hard and brittle and should be protected from shock and mechanical forces when handled in their application. Ones that are relatively thin compared to their pole cross-section (Magnetic Length / Pole Area) will demagnetize easier than those that are thick. Magnetic geometries utilizing backing plates, yokes, or return path structures will respond better to increased temperatures. A BuyMagnets.com team member can help determine if custom machining is required or if “pressed to size” option is possible.

What Are Samarium Cobalt Magnets Used For?

Common applications and typical uses for samarium cobalt magnets include technical applications where elevated temperatures apply, such as:

  • Computers
  • Electronics
  • Switches
  • Automotive “Under-the-Hood” Applications

Some more specific uses of samarium cobalt magnets are in motors, compact high force magnetic assemblies, turbomachinery, dipole assemblies, microphones, speakers, sputtering arrays for vacuum deposition, triggering hall sensors, particle accelerators and many other applications.

Perfect for High Temperatures

Samarium cobalt magnets resist corrosion and retain most of their energy up to 575° Fahrenheit, making them ideal replacements for Alnico magnets when high temperature use or miniaturization is required. They have good temperature stability—maximum use temperatures are between 250 and 550°C; Curie temperatures range from 700 to 800°C.

They will work in applications that require the system to function at cryogenic (or very hot) temperatures—over 350°F or 180°C. In applications where performance is required to be consistent with temperature change, the flux density of a samarium cobalt magnet will vary under 5% per 100°C change in temperature (in the range of 25–250°C or 77-480°F). Rare earth sintered samarium cobalt magnets are extremely resistant to demagnetization and they can operate at temperatures up to 500°F (260°C).

What Are Samarium Cobalt Magnets?

Samarium cobalt magnets are rare earth magnets that offer the best quality and value when comparing performance and size in high temperature environments (more on this below). They are extremely strong and typically allow for smaller size magnet profiles. Though not as strong as neodymium magnets, samarium cobalt magnets present three significant advantages:

  • They work over a wider temperature range.
  • They have superior temperature coefficients
  • They have a greater resistance to corrosion.

Since samarium cobalt offers excellent corrosion resistance, these magnets typically do not require a surface treatment. They also have good resistance to external demagnetizing fields because of their High Intrinsic Coercive Force (Hci). This resistance makes samarium cobalt rare earth magnets an excellent choice for electromechanical applications.

Alnico Magnetic Material

Alnico is hard and brittle, and prone to chipping and cracking. Special machining techniques must be used to machine this material. Alnico magnets require magnetizing fields of about 3 kOe (kilo Oersted). Because of their relatively low coercivities, special care should be taken to assure that alnico magnets are not subjected to adverse repelling fields, since these could partially demagnetize the magnets. Magnetized magnets should be stored with “keepers” to reduce the possibility of partial demagnetization. If alnico magnets are partially demagnetized, they may be easily re-magnetized.

What is Sintered Alnico?

Sintered alnico magnets are manufactured by compacting fine alnico powder in a press, and then sintering the compacted powder into a solid magnet. Sintered alnico has marginally lower magnetic properties, but better mechanical properties, than cast alnico. Both are hard and brittle materials and require skillful machining on specialized equipment. It is generally not recommended that these materials be used for structural or decorative purposes. Alnico magnets can be pressed directly into non-magnetic materials. For steel pressings, they should be enclosed in a nonferrous bushing. Sintered alnico 8H has a high temperature stability, coercivity, and demagnetization resistance similar to Cast alnico 8, but it can be manufactured to closer tolerances. Its fine grain structure results in highly uniform flux distribution and mechanical strength, so it is ideally suited to applications requiring short magnetic length or involving high-speed motion. Some applications include core meters, traveling wave tube stacks, polarized relays, reed switches, torque transmitting devices, and sandwich-type holding assemblies.

What Are Cast Alnico Magnets?

Cast alnico magnets are manufactured by pouring a molten metal alloy into a mold and then processing it through various heat-treat cycles. The resulting magnet has a dark gray appearance and may have a rough surface. Machined surfaces have a shiny appearance similar to steel. Cast magnets may be manufactured in complex shapes such as horseshoes, which is not possible with other magnet materials.

Types of Cast Alnico Magnets

Cast Alnico 5 – This is the most commonly used. This alnico material is used extensively in rotating machinery, meters, instruments, sensing devices, and holding applications, to name a few. For best results with alnico 5 magnets, the length should be no less than 5 times the cross-section diameter; or 5 times the diameter of a circle equal in area to the cross section.

Cast Alnico 8 HE – This magnet has the highest temperature stability of any commercially available magnetic material. Improved crystal structure and alloying techniques achieve a 6.0 energy product and high resistance to demagnetization. Typical uses include computer keyboards, drives, printers, microphones, meters, motors, generators, relays, reed-switch relays, and transducers.

The Benefits of Alnico Magnets

Alnico magnets derive their magnetic properties and name from these elements – ALuminum, NIckel, and CObalt. They have the widest range of temperature stability of any standard magnetic material – up to 1,000°F, at which approximately 85% of room temperature magnetization is retained. Temperature changes above this are largely structural and not fully reversible or re-magnetizable. Alnico magnets are manufactured using a powder metallurgy process (sintered alnico) or a foundry process (cast alnico). Other characteristics include high residual induction as well as relatively high energies. The corrosion resistance of alnico is considered excellent and no surface treatments are required, but alnico magnets can be easily plated.

What are permanent magnets made of?

Modern permanent magnets are made of special alloys that have been found through research to create increasingly better magnets. The most common families of magnet materials today are ones made out of aluminum-nickel-cobalt (Alnico), strontium-iron (Ferrites, also known as Ferrites), neodymium-iron-boron (neo magnets, sometimes referred to as “super magnets”), and samarium-cobalt. (The samarium-cobalt and neodymium-iron-boron families are collectively known as the Rare Earths).

What does a magnet do?

Magnets do the following things:

  • Attract certain materials – such as iron, nickel, cobalt, certain steels and other alloys
  • Exert an attractive or repulsive force on other magnets (opposite poles attract, like poles repel)
  • Have an effect on electrical conductors when the magnet and conductor are moving in relation to each other
  • Have an effect on the path taken by electrically charged particles traveling in free space

Based on these effects, magnets transform energy from one form to another, without any permanent loss of their own energy. Examples of magnet functions are:

  • Mechanical to mechanical – such as attraction and repulsion
  • Mechanical to electrical – such as generators and microphones
  • Electrical to mechanical – such as motors, loudspeakers, charged particle deflection
  • Mechanical to heat – such as eddy current and hysteresis torque devices
  • Special effects – such as magneto-resistance, Hall effect devices, and magnetic resonance
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