Neodymium magnets belong to the rare earth magnet family. They are the strongest permanent magnets in the whole world. Also known as NIB or NdFeB magnets, they are made up of Iron (Fe), Neodymium (Nd), and Boron (B). They are newly invented yet have been commonly used for various uses since they are very affordable.
What are the Different Grades of Neodymium?
Neodymium magnets have different grades, and they are usually graded based on the material they are made of. Generally, the higher the grade of the magnet, the stronger it would be. Currently, the neodymium magnets have the highest grade of N52. The letter after the grade shows the magnet’s temperature rating. In case there are no letters after the grade, then the magnet is considered standard temperature neodymium.
What Grade Should You Choose?
Well, it all depends on your application. If you require magnets with the highest strength, then the best option is grade N52 since it is the strongest. Most of the magnets that are sold in the market today are in grade N42. It has an excellent balance between strength, cost, performance along with higher operating temperatures.
If you are looking for a magnet with the same strength as the N52 magnet, you can choose the slightly larger N42 magnet.
Various Coatings/Plating for Neodymium Magnets
Neodymium magnets are generally composed of Boron, Iron, and Neodymium. The iron in the magnet could rust when exposed to certain elements. It is recommended that the magnet be coated to strengthen the material and protect them from corrosion. There are several options for coatings, but the most commonly used is nickel.
The best nickel-plated magnets are triple plated, coated with nickel, copper, and then nickel again. These triple coated magnets are more durable compared to single nickel-plated magnets. Other choices for coatings include gold, silver, copper, tin, zinc, and epoxy. Gold plated magnets have quadruple plating, including nickel, copper, nickel, and a coating of gold.
How Powerful Is a Neodymium Magnet?
If you have never used a neodymium magnet before, then you will be surprised by its strength. It is more than ten times stronger compared to the most powerful ceramic magnets. If you are currently using ceramic magnets, you could substitute them with a smaller neodymium magnet and still obtain greater holding force.
Should Magnets Be Machined?
Neodymium materials are fragile and vulnerable to cracking and chipping; hence it does not machine well using the traditional techniques. When magnets are machined, they produce heat, and when it is not properly handled, it could demagnetize the magnet. That is why it is not recommended that magnets should be machined.
Magnetization of Neodymium
Rare Earth magnets, such as Neodymium, are highly resistant to demagnetization compared to other types of magnets. Their magnetic property will not be lost even when they are around other types of magnets. However, you should avoid heating them above their highest operating temperature of 176°F (80°C), so you will not lose their strength. At the same time, you will entirely lose its magnetization if they are heated over their Curie temperature of 590°F (310°C).
These are all applicable for all Neodymium with standard N grades. Some magnets are made of materials that are capable of withstanding higher temperatures without losing their strength. It is important to remember that the potential uses for a neodymium magnet are endless!