Neodymium magnets are derived from a metal element called neodymium. The name neodymium means new twin, which was derived from the Greek word neos didymos. Carl Auer von Welsbach discovered neodymium in 1885.
The metal is a silvery-white metal that rapidly tarnishes in the air. The element symbol is Nd and designated under the atomic number 60. However, the neodymium magnets are denoted by the symbol NdFeB. The major purpose of the metal is to combine with an alloy of iron and boron to make very strong permanent magnets commonly referred to as neodymium magnets.
For purposes of understanding the origin of the neodymium, the three top producing countries are China, Russia, and Malaysia, while the top three reserve holders are China, CIS countries, and the USA.
Characteristics about Neodymium Magnets
The neodymium magnets are alternatively called rare earth magnets with unique properties facilitating the revolution of engineering in terms of achieving functionality for different inventions.
The making of neodymium magnets from the alloys of neodymium, iron, and boron allows them to simultaneously store impressive amounts of magnetic energy. The magnets are also highly resistant to demagnetization, therefore, making them a great alternative as a raw material.
The iron alloy in the magnets oxidizes quickly, coating the neodymium magnet disallowing it from rusting. The neodymium magnet is regarded as the strongest in the entire world. To put it into perspective, a thumbnail-sized neodymium magnet cannot be removed from a refrigerator by hand. Also, when the two magnets are placed close together, the attraction is so strong that when they meet they shatter.
Another advantage of using the magnets is that they are highly temperature resistant, withstanding temperatures higher than 200 degrees Celsius.
Where Are Neodymium Magnets Used?
As mentioned above, neodymium magnets have revolutionized the world of engineering to the extent of being employed in different types of technologies. For instance, wind turbine generators depend on the magnets to generate electricity.
High-strength neodymium magnets power the DC motors in hybrid and electric cars. Miniature neodymium magnets are used in mobile phones to achieve the vibrating mechanism when you put your phone on vibrate. The audio world uses the same type of magnets to achieve the quality of finite sound in their speakers. Medical equipment also relies on the high strength magnets to make equipment like MRI machines. Other equipment that uses the magnets includes magnetic separators in recycling machines and modern televisions.
The Neodymium Magnet Market
The demand for the neodymium magnet will continue to arise so long as technology continues to advance. The availability of neodymium, iron, and boron will also play a role in the market, although deposits are not being depleted any time soon. Stanford Magnets (SM) is one of the key players in the industry.