Applications of Neodymium magnets

By: Rockyd Costa

A neodymium magnet is also known as neo magnet or NdFeB. It is a rare earth magnet that is widely used for various purposes. It is made from an alloy of iron, boron and neodymium. It has a tetragonal crystalline structure. It was developed by General Motors in the year 1982. They are one of the strongest types of permanent magnets. The products that use permanent magnets heavily favor the usage of neodymium magnets. These are products like hard disk drives, magnetic fasteners and cordless tools.

The shape and structure of the magnet lends it the quality of high resistance against demagnetization. The magnetic phase of the magnet has the capability of storing large doses of magnetic energy. It has a magnetic storage capability higher than samarium cobalt, the first rare earth magnet that was used for commercial purposes. The magnetic property of such a magnet is dependent on its manufacturing technique, the composition of the alloy and its microstructure. The magnet is highly susceptible to corrosion. Corrosion can also cause deterioration in a magnet. Majority of the commercial products that use a neodymium magnet are often faced with this problem. This can be rectified by adding a protective layer of nickel plating or copper nickel. You can also use plating with other metals or polymer.

A neodymium magnet can be produced in two ways. The primary way is the process of classical powder metallurgy and sintered magnet. The secondary way is rapid solidification or bonded magnet process. Neodymium magnets have the property of high coercivity and remanence. To preserve the magnetic properties further, neodymium can be alloyed with terbium and dysprosium. A neodymium magnet measures from N24 to N55 on a scale of N64 magnetism measurement. The rating on this scale depends on the shape, composition and the production method of the magnet.

These magnets have versatile uses as they are very strong. They serve commercial as well as industrial needs. It is used in the spaceships to collect dust from other planets. It can be used in a jewelry box to keep a jewelry piece in place. Therefore, its application and usage can be way different than expected. These magnets have found their usage in experimental levitation devices as well. They are also used in oil filters, geo-caching, costumes, welding and many other places.

Neodymium magnets come with extreme caution. The user must be cautious while using the same. For basics, when there is a regular usage of the magnet they must be kept at a place which is out of reach of the children in the house. If someone swallows this magnet, it can result in the blocking of the respiratory and digestive tracts that can be hazardous. Since the rate of magnetism in NIB magnets is very high, the ferromagnetic particles present can literally fly across one room to another. A physical contact with the same can cause irritation and allergies in the skin. The magnet can also cause momentum and force that can harm your muscles and bones.

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