Rare Earth and Non-Rare Earth Magnets
The Differences Between
Like in most subjects if you learn the terminology you have at least a consumer level knowledge that will get you to the types, shapes & strength magnets you are looking for.
Rare Earth Magnets at MPCO Magnetics
Ceramic (non Rare Earth) Magnets at MPCO Magnetics
There are 2 magnet families that consumers either hobbyists or industry will most often run into: Rare Earth Magnets & Non Rare Earth Magnets, The rare earth magnet family is derived from what is called rare earth which is an ore mined mostly in China, from which both Neodymium & Samarium are extracted. These 2 elements listed as lanthanides on the periodic table are the namesakes of the 2 most powerful permanent (can’t turn them on and off like electromagnets) magnets on the planet.
Neodymium is the strongest with Samarium cobalt is a very close 2nd place in terms of strength. These magnets however, are not suitable in all situations. Neodymium is not suitable when the magnets are to be out in the weather as they tend to corrode (use Samarium). Samarium is also the go to product when the ambient temperature is greater than 175 0 F. There are some alloys that allow for a higher operating temperature with the neodymium available at MPCO Magnetics. Just call and we will fill you in.
The other family is the non-rare earth family which pretty much consists of all of the rest. Which are Ceramic Magnets and AlNiCo magnets . Ceramic Magnets are the magnets you probably grew up with as a child. They are not extremely strong but sufficient for most hobbies. You may use a neodymium magnet for refrigerator magnets but use one about 1/3 the size of ceramic magnets. AlNiCo magnets are typically used in industrial settings based on their unique characteristics.
For some ideas about how to use our magnets see or Pinterest Page which will give you an idea of what magnets you should use for certain hobby type projects. It may also give you some ideas on just what can be done with magnets.