Neodymium magnets are powerful and durable, but they’re not completely immortal. As with any product, the longevity of a neo magnet depends on how well it is maintained and if proper considerations are taken when handling it. Under optimal conditions, it is estimated that a neodymium magnet will only lose 5% of its magnetism every 100 years. However, operating conditions are rarely optimal, and when a neodymium magnet is affected by certain operating conditions, loss of magnetism can occur as a result. In addition to loss of magnetism, physical damage to a neodymium magnet will also require that the magnet be replaced.
Reasons Neodymium Magnets Require Replacement
One of the most common causes of lost magnetism is heat. When a neodymium magnet is subjected to temperatures above its maximum operating temperature, loss of magnetism can occur. A standard neodymium magnet will begin to lose strength if heated above the maximum operating temperature of 180°F (80°C). However, certain varieties of high-temperature rated neo magnets can be used at temperatures up to 300°F (149°C).
The second most common reason that neodymium magnets may need to be replaced is due to corrosion. Neo magnets are typically plated for protection against corrosion, but sometimes the plating on a neodymium magnet can become damaged. If water or another corrosive material enters, this can lead to rust or other corrosive damage that will result in significantly decreased magnetic performance.
Inappropriate handling of neodymium magnets can also result in damage that will require replacement. For example, since neodymium magnets are so powerful, they may attract to each other from across a wide distance, and slam into each other on impact. This can lead to cracking, chipping, and other structural damage to the magnet that is not only hazardous to those handling the magnet, but also means the magnet is no longer suitable for use.
When to Replace a Neodymium Magnet
It is important to regularly inspect your neodymium magnets to make sure they are still performing up to standards as well as remaining structurally sound. To measure the strength of your magnets, we recommend regular use of a pull test, especially in the case of neo magnets being used in magnetic separation equipment. By taking regular pull test measurements, a magnet’s performance can be monitored over time. It is also important to regularly examine your neo magnets to make sure there is no surface damage or corrosion compromising their physical integrity.
If you see any physical damage to your neodymium magnets, or you notice decreased performance as indicated by your pull test measurements, we are happy to assist you in finding replacement neodymium magnets to suit your application. For more information on neodymium magnet replacement and the best practices for ensuring the longevity of your neodymium magnets, contact us today.