What Is A Neodymium Magnet

What Is A Neodymium Magnet

As a magnet fisher, you must have heard about neodymium magnets multiple times. And you might be wondering what these magnets are and what they do. In this article, we will be discussing neodymium magnets in detail. We promise that by the time you finish reading this article, you will know almost everything about neodymium magnets.

History Of Neodymium Magnets

Before talking about neodymium magnets, it is important to tell you a brief history of these magnets. Decades ago, the available industrial magnet was the samarium-cobalt type. And this type of magnet was very expensive and a lot of people could not afford it for their various needs.

Because of this, there was a need for a response to this uneconomical magnet. And in 1982, General Motors and Sumitomo Special Metal developed the economical and powerful neodymium magnet. They did this by formulating the alloy NdFeB which is a combination of neodymium, iron, and boron.

However, even though the two companies formulated the magnets together, they used different processes to do this. General Motors Company produced the Neodymium magnet in powdered form while Sumitomo Special Metals used the sintering magnet process.

Yet, regardless of the processes, the magnets they produced were magnificent. And they became the game-changing commercial and economic magnet mostly used by magnet fishers.

Neodymium Magnet Grades

Neodymium magnets come in different grades and as a magnet fisher, it is important to know these grades. This is because proper knowledge of the neodymium magnet grade will help you make a better decision when choosing magnets for magnet fishing.

When looking out for neodymium magnet grades, you will find the letter ‘N’, followed by some numbers. The ‘N’ represents neodymium while the number that follows represents the maximum energy the magnet produces.

For example, you will see a neodymium magnet grade like N30, N35, N42, N50, etc. Without getting too technical, know that the higher the number, the stronger the magnet is. And this means that an N50 magnet will pull more weight than an N30 magnet.

So, the higher the need for the magnet, the higher the magnet rating should be. But in general, when it comes to magnet fishing, we will advise that you go for magnets with ratings not higher than N42. This is because going for a magnet more than that will be too much for magnet fishing purposes.

Besides the only reason, you should be going for a neodymium magnet as high as N52 is when there is limited space to accommodate more than one magnet. Asides that, it is better to use two smaller grade neodymium magnets.

Neodymium Magnet Strength

Neodymium magnets have immense strengths and regardless of how small they are, you can rest assured that they are very powerful. Also, when you compare a neodymium magnet with ceramic magnets, you will find that neodymium magnets can be up to 15 times stronger than the strongest ceramic magnet available.

Besides, a very small neodymium magnet can perform better than a very big ceramic magnet. Because of this, you can refer to a neodymium magnet as ‘small but mighty’. Now, there is a common term known as ‘pulling strength’ when it comes to magnets.

A magnet’s pulling strength is the amount of weight or power that is needed for a magnet not to be able to hold on to its load. Moreover, a magnet’s pulling strength differs according to magnet grades or how the magnets are formulated.

When a magnet has a pulling strength of 3000 pounds, it means that the magnet is unlikely to hold a load that weighs more than 3000 pounds. When buying a neodymium magnet, there is a high chance that the manufacturers include the magnet’s pulling strength in the product’s description.

This will help you make a better choice when choosing a magnet for magnet fishing.

Neodymium Magnet Coating

You must have seen that neodymium magnets are always bright and shiny. This is not without reason. The composition of neodymium magnets is a combination of iron, neodymium, and boron. And with the way these elements are composed, they will rust if they are not coated.

And when these magnets rust, they begin to lose their strength. So, to protect the neodymium magnet, the manufacturers usually coat the magnets with other elements that prevent corrosion. Not only that, but these coatings also make the magnet stronger as neodymium magnets are brittle.

Also, the most common coating option for neodymium magnets is nickel. Nickel is not only common and widely accepted, but it is very effective too. Besides, some other manufacturers of neodymium magnets use gold, zinc, copper, silver, etc. to coat their magnets.

But as we mentioned above, nickel coated magnets are more preferable, especially for magnet fishing purposes. Besides, it is even better if the magnets are triple coated with nickel, copper, and nickel. To get this type of magnet, be on the lookout for magnets with coatings rated Ni-Cu-Ni.

You can also see other triple neodymium magnet coatings like Ni-Cu-Ni-Ag (Neodymium, silver, and Neodymium). So, you see, neodymium magnet coating is very important.

Demagnetization Of Neodymium Magnets

Before we talk about demagnetization of neodymium magnets, let us briefly talk about what demagnetization means. Demagnetization is the situation where magnets lose their strength. When demagnetization happens, you will see that the magnet will not pull the weight it usually pulls.

Many factors cause demagnetization. Some of them are; corrosion, excessive vibration, moisture absorption, heat, among others. Most magnets tend to get demagnetized easily. But a neodymium magnet is different.

Like most rare earth magnets, neodymium magnets are very resistant to demagnetization. This does not mean that they do not lose their strength; it only means that it takes a lot to happen. One major way neodymium magnets lose their strength is because of excessive heat.

Standard N grade neodymium magnets lose start losing their strength when they are heated above 80 degrees Celsius. And they lose their strength totally when they are heated above their Curie point which is 310 degrees Celsius. So, you see, it will take a lot of time before your neodymium fishing magnet demagnetizes.

Can Neodymium Magnets Regain Their Strength

Now one common question among magnet enthusiasts is if neodymium magnets can regain their strengths after demagnetization. The answer to this question isn’t straightforward as it depends on many factors.

When neodymium magnets are heated up to 80 degrees Celsius, they only have a partial loss. And when this happens, the magnet might even regain a little more of its strength over time. However, this is subject to the condition that the magnet doesn’t experience thermal shock.

But when the neodymium magnet is heated above its Curie point, then this will lead to a permanent loss of strength. And when this happens, you have no choice but to dispose of it because it is already useless.

Machining Of Neodymium Magnets

Neodymium magnets have a very powerful pulling force. Yet, they are very brittle which means they are susceptible to chipping. In light of this, neodymium magnets should not undergo machining. This is because machining can lead to chipping and cracking of the magnet.

Also, machining a magnet usually creates a lot of heat. And as we mentioned, too much heat can lead to demagnetization.

Safety Of Neodymium Magnets

Proper care needs to be taken when using neodymium magnets and this is because of the power these magnets pack. If you have more than one neodymium magnet, you should keep them away from each other. The reason for this is that when neodymium magnets collide with force, it might lead to them shattering because they are brittle.

And when this collision happens, it might cause injury to the people around them. The best way to ensure that the magnets do not come together is by keeping them in different casings. The casings can be cardboard or plastic.

Furthermore, if you wear teeth grills, make sure you do not keep the magnet around you. This is common sense as you do not want to lose your teeth. Again, another safety measure for neodymium magnets is to keep them away from children. This is very important because children can swallow them which might be fatal.

Also, keep neodymium magnets away from heart pacemakers. This is because researchers found out that these magnets affect the performance of this device.

Uses Of Neodymium Magnets

Neodymium magnets are utilized in various ways. Makers of microphones or speakers can use this magnet in making their products. Not only that, but it is also useful in health equipment like MRI scanners. Furthermore, jewelry makers can add neodymium magnets to their jewelry.

Conclusion

We made a promise in the introduction of this article that by the time you finish reading, you will know almost everything about neodymium magnets. We are confident that we have fulfilled this promise.

Also, apart from the necessary information we wrote in this article, we included some safety tips too. This safety section is very important and we hope you follow the tips we mentioned to the letter. Finally, if you enjoyed this article, make sure you share it with your friends and family.

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