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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.
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).
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?
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.