List of Magnetic Metals
What Metals Are Magnetic?
Magnetic metals include some pure metallic elements and their alloys. Here is a list of some of the most magnetic metals:
TerbiumSome types of steel (e.g., ferritic stainless steel)
Neodymium, iron, boron alloy (Nd magnet)
Even though both iron and nickel are magnetic, not all steel is magnetic. The crystal structure of an alloy determines its magnetism, so elements that are magnetic on their own don’t necessarily form magnetic alloys.
Iron is considered magnetic, but its behavior depends on crystal structure and temperature. It’s the α form that’s ferromagnetic, and only below its Curie point of 770 °C. γ-iron is antiferromagnetic.
Ruthenium and the actinides (e.g., plutonium, neptunium) are ferromagnetic under certain conditions.
What Metal Is the Strongest Magnet?
The strongest permanent magnetic metal you can buy is a neodymium (Nd) magnet. Neodymium magnets are not pure neodymium. The pure element is paramagnetic at room temperature and antiferromagnetic at very cold temperatures (20 K or −253.2 °C). Neodymium magnets are a neodymium alloy (Nd2Fe14B).
Neodymium alloy magnets lose their magnetism at lower temperatures. Under these conditions, samarium-cobalt (SmCo) magnets are the strongest magnetic metals.
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Ferrites or ceramic magnets: These are like those used in refrigerator magnets and elementary-school science experiments. They contain iron oxide and other metals in a ceramic composite. A ceramic magnet known as lodestone, or magnetite, was the first magnetic material discovered and occurs naturally. Even though the ceramic magnet has been around for so long, they weren’t commercially produced until 1952. Although they’re common and keep their magnetism, they tend to have a weaker magnetic field (known as the energy product) than other types of magnets. Metal Magnetic What Makes a Metal Magnetic?
Alnico magnets: These were developed in the 1930s and are made from aluminum, nickel and cobalt. They’re stronger than ceramic magnets, but not as strong as the ones that incorporate a class of elements known as rare-earth metals. Metal Magnetic
Neodymium magnets: These contain iron, boron and the rare-earth element neodymium, and as of this writing, they are the strongest commercially available magnets. They first appeared in the 1980s after scientists at the General Motors Research Laboratories and the Sumitomo Special Metals Company published their research.
Samarium cobalt magnets: These were developed by scientists at the Dayton University Research University in the 1960s, and combine cobalt with the rare-earth element samarium. In the past few years, scientists have also discovered magnetic polymers, or plastic magnets. Some of these are flexible and moldable. However, some work only at extremely low temperatures, and others pick up only very lightweight materials, like iron filings.