Neodymium magnets are fabricated from neodymium, which is an element with the physical characteristics of a soft, silvery metal. This material is also characterized by being one of the more reactive rare earth elements, which are a collection of seventeen chemical elements found in the periodic table. For applications which require exceptionally strong magnets, rare earth magnets are by far the most effective.
Out of all rare earth magnets, neodymium magnets are by far the strongest type of magnet. In addition, Neodymium magnets in particular offer the best value when comparing performance, size and cost. Fabricated from a compound of neodymium, iron and boron, neodymium magnets, like all rare earth magnets, have a much greater magnetic strength to size ratio than other types of magnets, and they have excellent resistance to demagnetization.
Although the manufacturing process can be costlier than for other magnets, neo magnets require far less volume than non-rare earth magnets. Like ceramic magnets, neodymium magnets are first made into a powder then pressed into shapes. After a magnetic field is applied to orient the soon-to-be magnet, neo magnets are sintered until they are fully dense. This process can yield neodymium magnets in a variety of shapes.
Neodymium magnets are both stronger and more affordable than samarium cobalt magnets and are therefore more widely used for most applications. Magnetic permanence under conditions such as vibration, corrosion, electric fields and heat is a crucial factor for magnets used in industrial, automotive and medical equipment, and although neodymium composites have great magnetic force, they easily lose their magnetism under corrosion and relatively low temperatures (200 degrees Celsius).
They are also easily chipped or cracked and are therefore almost always given a protective nickel or other metal coating. Samarium magnets, which have good high heat tolerance, are used where neodymium magnets’ heat tolerance is too low. In terms of applications of neodymium magnets, as the automotive and energy industries explore petroleum alternatives, the rare earth magnet industry has seen a sharp rise.
Neodymium magnets are crucial in most electric motors and wind turbines, and concern has already been raised regarding lanthanoid ore shortages. However, medical, aerospace, electronics and automotive industries have barely begun to harness the natural power of rare earth magnets. With looming petroleum shortages, rare earth magnets are rising as a potential part of alternative energy solutions.
Neodymium Magnets Informational Video