Neodymium magnets are the strongest permanent magnets commercially available, anywhere in the world. They provide unparalleled levels of magnetism and resistance to demagnetisation when compared to ceramic, alnico and even samarium-cobalt magnets.
HISTORY OF NEODYMIUM MAGNETS
Neodymium magnets were first developed in 1982 by General Motors and Sumitomo Special Metals following the formulation of the alloy NdFeB, which is made of neodymium as well as iron and boron. Neodymium magnets were first produced in response to the high price of samarium-cobalt magnets, giving need to identify an economical, high-performance magnet. Although jointly formulated, General Motors and Sumitomo Special Metals followed different manufacturing processes with General Motors choosing to produce neodymium magnets in powdered bonded form while Sumitomo followed the sintering manufacturing process, the same process used to manufacture our range of neodymium magnets.
Since the creation of the first Neodymium magnet, they have cemented their position as the most popular magnet in endless applications. Industries such as electrical motor manufacture, medical science, renewable energy and technology all rely on the super-strength neodymium magnets, without which, many of the advancements over the last 30 years would not have been possible. They are also useful around the home, for hobbies such as crafts, modelling and jewellery making. Because of their super-strength, incredible performance and resistance to demagnetisation they can be made in many shapes and sizes, even as small as 1mm diameter, making their uses literally endless!
Did you know? A magnet 8mm in diameter and 5mm long weighs only 2 grams and yet generates a force of over 1,700 grams.
Neodymium magnets are also described as rare-earth magnets, because neodymium is part of the rare-earth family of elements. The term rare-earth does not mean they are scarce, neodymium is abundant in the Earth’s crust – in fact it is more common than some precious metals such as gold - the term derives from their geochemical properties, rare-earth elements are typically dispersed and not often found concentrated in economically exploitable deposits.
Did you know? Each year, 45-50,000 tonnes of neodymium magnets are manufactured worldwide.
Neodymium is not the only element used to make neodymium magnets; neodymium is combined with boron and iron and sometimes other elements too to make super-strength magnets, just like those supplied by first4magnets.com.
Did you know? Dysprosium has the highest magnetic strength of all elements and is added to all our neodymium magnets to increase their resistance to demagnetisation and corrosion.
Neodymium magnets can be prone to corrosion and because they are very hard, this makes them brittle, so at first4magnets.com we add the element dysprosium into the mix and always coat our products (unless requested). Permanent magnets lose their magnetism at a rate of approximately 5% every 100 years, meaning they aren’t actually ‘permanent’ in the truest sense of the word but handled with care, in the right conditions neodymium magnets will maintain their magnetism for many, many years.
Read more about the fascinating magnet manufacturing process.