Rare Earth Magnets – Their Capabilities and Possible Future

When you hear the term Rare Earth Elements, you often come to a conclusion that they might be the type of elements that are at the brink of extinction. This is not true. The elements that are extracted from the rare earth ores are known as Rare Earth elements. The magnets that are manufactured using such Rare Earth elements are referred to as Rare Earth magnets.

There are two types of magnets that are manufactured using such Rare Earth elements as the basic materials and are,

  • Neodymium Magnets
  • Samarium Cobalt Magnets

Both the magnet types will be manufactured with the same procedure, which is known as powdered metal process, wherein the powdered form of the basic elements for each magnet type will be employed. Even though the procedure that is followed for manufacturing the magnet types is one and the same, the characteristic features of the resulting magnets vary from one another.

Differences between Rare Earth Magnet Types

There are many distinctive features in both the Neodymium magnet and Samarium Cobalt magnets, even if they use the Rare Earth elements as basic components, for forming into a complete magnet. Some are listed below.

  • Resistance to Corrosion

Neodymium magnets are manufactured using three basic elements, iron, boron and neodymium. Except for boron, neodymium and iron are the two sensitive elements that cannot withstand both high temperature and humid atmospheric conditions. When heated continuously, they lose their texture and when exposed to humid temperature, they start rusting and corroding from the inside.

This is not the case with samarium cobalt magnets, since they are strongly bonded with one another. They are also known as the corrosion resistant Rare Earth magnet types.

  • Demagnetizing Factor

When heated for more than the required temperature that they can withstand, samarium cobalt magnets will not lose their magnetic flux. To put it simply, samarium cobalt magnets will not get demagnetized, when exposed to high temperature. However, this is not the case with neodymium magnets, and hence the experts suggest taking necessary precautionary measures while exposing the neodymium magnet to high temperatures.

  • Price

Since cobalt is present in samarium cobalt magnets, they are comparatively costlier than any other permanent magnets that are available in the market today. On the other hand, neodymium magnets are cheaper when compared with the price of other rare earth magnets that are available today. Hence, most of the industries prefer neodymium magnets over samarium cobalt magnets.

  • Brittleness

The chemical structure of samarium cobalt rare earth magnets will not get easily damaged, even if subjected to heavy working. However, this is not the case with neodymium magnets, since their chemical structure is comparatively brittle. Hence, you cannot easily integrate neodymium magnets into magnetic assembles like the samarium cobalt magnets.

Future of Rare Earth Magnets

Unlike any other naturally available magnet types that are extracted from iron ore these days, Rare Earth magnets have excellent future for some more decades. Since they are permanently magnetized and will not lose their magnetic force, even if subjected to heavy working, most of the industrial sectors are switching to the usage of Rare Earth magnets. You can visit our website, to know more about the Rare Earth magnets.

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