An Idiot-Proof Guide on Neodymium Magnets

Neodymium is one of the rare-earth elements on the periodic table of chemistry. It is used to manufacture neodymium magnets which belong to the type of rare-earth magnets.

Neodymium is one of the rare-earth elements on the periodic table of chemistry. It is used to manufacture neodymium magnets which belong to the type of rare-earth magnets. The whole world recognizes the incredible magnetic force possessed by the neodymium element. Also called NIB, NdFeB or Neo magnets, neodymium magnets are made of boron, iron and neodymium with the first element being metalloid and the latter two being metallic. All the elements are mined and the mixture is crushed to powders. These are pressed further with a milling machine that uses high pressure gas to create molds. The mixture is heated under a vacuum (called sintering), cooled off and chipped into desired shaped.

This is why customers are able to find Neo magnets in assorted shapes to fit the desired applications. After shapes are produced, they are coated or plated to prevent corrosion. Eventually all the pieces are exposed to a very strong magnetic field (over thirty KOe) where the magnetization is taking place. As a potential customer, one should get familiar with the N rating (grade) of the magnet. It refers to Maximum Energy Product or MEP of the raw material that a magnet is produced with. Simply put, maximum energy means optimum magnetic density of what a magnet is composed of.

N-rating of neodymium magnets is quoted in MGOe (Millions of Gauss Oersted). Therefore if a given magnet is rated N38, it possesses a MEP of 38 MGOe. In short, the higher the grade of a magnet the powerful it is. It is difficult to drill or make holes through neodymium magnets. They are extremely solid that many locally available drilling machines cannot help. They will become too hot or even break. If one must cut or drill NIB elements they must find an expert machinist. They are more informed on potential dangers of machining NIB materials. Usually the machine experts used Electrostatic Discharge Machines to shape Neo magnets.

These machines provide a suitable way to mess with neodymium without causing breakages. This type of a magnet is known to be brittle. What is more, when heat is used to drill a Neo magnet, demagnetization could happen and in return trigger fire. Although this strong magnet is seldom demagnetized, by high temperatures, just be aware of the fire risk it could pose. On the same, machining neodymium blocks would obviously produce dry particles that are extremely flammable. To avoid combustion of the particles, take stern precautions.

It goes without saying that one cannot weld to an NdFeB magnet without demagnetizing it and causing it to catch fire. Standard N-rated Neo magnetic products cannot withstand temperature that goes beyond 80 degrees Celsius. Exposing this magnet to extreme temperatures might make it lose a portion of its magnetic force. There is also the Curie temperature (TC) that neodymium magnets should not be heated beyond 310 degrees Celsius. If it goes up to 310 degrees Celsius, a standard N-rated Neo magnet will lose the magnetic strength completely and cannot be re-magnetized.

About Stanford Magnets,
Based in California, Stanford Magnets has been involved in the R&D and sales of licensed Rare-earth permanent magnets, Neodymium magnets and SmCo magnets, ceramic magnets, flexible magnets and magnetic assemblies since the mid of 1980s. We supply all these types of magnets in a wide range of shapes, sizes and grades.

Categories: Production and Manufacturing

Tags: NdFeB, Neo magnets, Neodymium magnets, NIB, rare-earth magnets

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Danny Burns
Stanford Magnets
Stanford Magnets
360 Goddard
Irvine, CA 92618
United States