What are rare earth magnets?

What are rare earth magnets?

Magnets are the things that have never failed to interest us. In our childhoods, we use to play with the simple fridge magnets and wanted to know more about them. In most of our schools, we have learned about the basic magnets and their polarity. But now something called the rare earth magnets has become an important part of our lives. So, let us know a bit more about this phenomenon.

About the Rare Earth Magnets:

The simplest thing that we may say about these magnets is that they are permanent magnets. These magnets are made from alloys of the rare earth minerals which also give them their name. The rare earth magnets are the strongest permanent magnets produced on this earth. Their magnetic field exceeds even 1.4 teslas. The work on producing them started at about 1966 and almost all of them was produced by the 80’s. The alloys for making these magnets aren’t actually rare but the locations are scattered throughout the world. But most of them are sourced from China.
At times the powerfulness of these magnets can lead to hazardous conditions. If the human skin or organ comes between two magnets or a magnet and a metal surface, it may harm the person. This has been noticed in children who have swallowed such magnets.

rare earth magnets
Type of Rare Earth Magnets:

  • Samarium-Cobalt: This was the first type of rare earth magnet that was produced by the scientists. They are quite expensive and the magnetic field isn’t that strong. But one strong point of these magnets is their higher curie temperatures. This makes them idle to be used in places with more temperature. Oxidation doesn’t affect them but they are definitely very brittle and the littlest of the thermal shock may crack or chip them.
  • Neodynium: This is the more popular type of rare earth magnets as they are the strongest and also cheaper to get. The alloy that is used to make the magnets are made of neodymium, iron, and iron. This type of magnet has lots of work in the fields where strong permanent magnets are required. These types of the magnet also have higher stability. But the Curie temperature of the magnet isn’t very high and oxidation does affect the magnets. These types of rare earth magnets are also prone to corrosion and different coatings made of gold, nickel or zinc may help in preventing them.

Some Things that need the use of the rare earth metals:

  • The Hard Discs of our Laptop and computers
    • The Audio Speakers and Headphones
    • Wind Turbine Generators
    • Mechanically Powered Flashlights
    • Usage in Industries
    • Magnet Toys
    • Miniature Figures

So, here is the needed information of the rare earth magnets. Their name may have ‘rare’ to it but it isn’t rare at all. We find the application of these magnets in almost everything that we use on a daily basis. From electronic appliances to deep sea exploration, these strong magnets help us to discover the things that are hidden from our naked eyes.

Fun facts about rare earth magnets

Rare earth magnets are basically all the magnets which are permanent and are made from all the alloys of all the rare earth metals. Earth magnets were first discovered in the year 1970. Generally, the magnetic field of a rare earth metal is about 1.4 Tesla, which is very strong. The rare earth metal discovery started from the year 1966 in the United States Air Force Materials Laboratory. After the discovery of yttrium by G. Hoffer and K.J. Strnat the rare earth metals were discovered. Most of the rare earth metals are found in China and are spread unevenly across the globe.

Rare earth metals are very useful in nature. Rare earth metals are used for holding different notes and pictures to fridges. The best thing about rare earth metals is that it is it is not that expensive and it is generally used in televisions, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, telephones and home stereo systems. The most important feature of rare earth metals is all the like poles repel each other and all the unlike poles attract each other. According to research, it is found out that all the earth magnets get magnetized due to a force of current from the center of the earth which is filled with liquid. The current helps to create the biggest electromagnet out of the rare earth metals.


Facts about rare earth metals

• The magnetic field of the earth is just like a bar magnet set at the center of the earth
• The rare earth metals are generally made from the mixture of nickel, cobalt, and iron
• Rare earth metals can be found in any form or shape.
• The properties of the magnet are strongest at both the north ends and south end of the rare earth metal.
• The reason for the earth magnets strength is because of its rare earth metal composition.
• All the rare earth metals will only attract magnetic objects and not anything else.
• There are a few types of magnets found which are permanent magnets, temporary magnets, and electro magnets
• Permanent magnets are generally hard in nature
• Temporary magnets are generally soft in nature
• Magnets are generally made of crystals

Magnets were discovered a long time back but it took researchers a lot of time to figure out all the composition and behaviour of magnets. Magnetite is basically almost 55 million years old and they are mainly the composition of rare earth metals. Magnetite is generally found in the bed of the oceans. The most interesting fact is the whole earth is basically a big magnet and it acts as a magnet because of the current that is created from the liquid inside the core of the earth. Right now China is doing a lot of research on developing earth magnets and this is the reason why China has so much export restrictions. All the other countries have also started research on magnets because they are unable to import magnets from China which is the home for rare earth metals.