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Rare Earth Magnets

Rare earth magnets are a symbol of precision and high performance. They are a vital component found in much of today’s technology and industrial applications, but equally as popular for use with hobbies, crafts, and DIY due to their performance and affordability.

When space is limited and strength is paramount, rare earth magnets are your best option.

What are Rare Earth Magnets?

The term ‘rare earth’ can be misleading as rare earth metals are relatively abundant in the Earth’s crust. However, they are rarely found in large, concentrated deposits, but dispersed among other elements instead. Rare earth magnets are the strongest permanent magnets available and have significantly higher performance than ferrite (ceramic) and alnico magnets.

There are two types of rare earth magnet materials - Neodymium (Nd-Fe-B) and Samarium Cobalt (SmCo).Both materials come in different grades (strengths) and have different magnetic and physical properties.

Neodymium magnets, the stronger of the two, are composed of alloys primarily of neodymium, iron, and boron. These magnets tend to be brittle and are vulnerable to corrosion. Manufacturers typically nickel plate the material to protect it from oxidation.

Attributes of Rare Earth Neodymium

Positive Negative
Highest-energy product for its size Moderately priced
High coercive force Low mechanical strength - brittle
Strongest magnet material on the market today Moderate temperature stability (depending on grade)
Very high resistance to demagnetization Low corrosion resistance

Common Applications of Rare Earth Neodymium

  • Magnetic separators
  • Linear actuators
  • Microphone assemblies
  • Servo motors
  • DC motors (automotive starters)
  • Computer rigid disc drives, printers and speakers
  • Medical devices

Samarium Cobalt magnets are made primarily from an alloys of samarium, cobalt, and iron. Typically difficult to demagnetize, samarium cobalt magnets have moderately high operating temperatures and high resistance to corrosion. These magnets can be coated as well.

Attributes of Rare Earth Samarium Cobalt

Positive Negative
High corrosion resistance Higher cost
High-energy product Low mechanical strength - brittle
High temperature stability
High coercive force - resistance to demagnetization

Common Applications of Rare Earth Samarium Cobalt

  • Computer disc drives and sensors
  • Traveling wave tubes
  • Linear actuators and satellite systems
  • Motors where temperature stability is vital

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Customers rely on our team of magnet experts who provide guidance on product design, magnet material and technology, engineering, development, production and more.

We look forward to helping you bring your ideas to reality.