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Glossary of Permanent Magnet Terminology

The world of permanent magnets is filled with technical terms that can be daunting to newcomers. To help you better understand and navigate the fascinating realm of magnetic science, we’ve compiled a comprehensive glossary of essential permanent magnet terminology.

  • Anisotropic Magnets: Magnets that possess a preferred direction of magnetization due to their manufacturing process. These magnets can only be magnetized in that specific direction and generally have higher magnetic properties compared to isotropic magnets.
  • Coercivity (Hc): A measure of a magnet’s resistance to demagnetization. Higher coercivity indicates a stronger resistance to external magnetic fields or other demagnetizing influences.
  • Intrinsic Coercivity (Hci): A measure of a magnetic material’s inherent resistance to demagnetization. Higher intrinsic coercivity values indicate a greater resistance to demagnetizing influences such as high temperatures or external magnetic fields.
  • Curie Temperature (Tc): The temperature at which a magnetic material loses its magnetic properties, becoming a paramagnet. The magnetic properties can be restored by cooling the material below its Curie temperature.
  • Demagnetization Curve: A graph representing the relationship between the magnetic flux density (B) and the applied magnetizing force (H) of a magnetic material. The curve helps to understand the magnet’s behavior under various conditions.
  • Gauss: A unit of magnetic flux density, named after the German mathematician and physicist Carl Friedrich Gauss. One Gauss is equal to one maxwell per square centimeter.
  • Isotropic Magnets: Magnets that have no preferred direction of magnetization due to their manufacturing process. These magnets can be magnetized in any direction and generally have lower magnetic properties compared to anisotropic magnets.
    Magnetization Direction: The orientation of a magnet’s magnetic field during the magnetization process. Common magnetization directions include axial, radial, and diametrical.
  • Maximum Energy Product (BHmax): A measure of a magnet’s magnetic energy density, representing the highest energy that can be achieved by a magnetic material. It is expressed in Mega-Gauss-Oersteds (MGOe).
  • Oersted (Oe): A unit of magnetic field strength, named after the Danish physicist Hans Christian Oersted. One Oersted is equal to one Gauss divided by the permeability of free space.
  • Permeability (µ): A measure of a material’s ability to support the formation of a magnetic field within itself. Permeability is often represented by the Greek letter µ.
  • Remanence (Br): The residual magnetism remaining in a magnetic material after the external magnetizing force has been removed. It is the point at which the demagnetization curve intersects the y-axis.
    Saturation Magnetization: The maximum magnetization a magnetic material can attain when subjected to a strong magnetic field.
  • Sintered Magnets: Magnets produced by compacting fine magnetic powder and then heating it until the particles fuse together, creating a solid, dense magnet with high magnetic properties.
  • Surface Field (Gs): The magnetic field strength measured at the surface of a magnet, usually expressed in Gauss.
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  • AlNiCo: An acronym for aluminum (Al), nickel (Ni), and cobalt (Co) – the primary elements in this type of permanent magnet material. AlNiCo magnets are known for their excellent temperature stability and good resistance to demagnetization.
  • Ferrite Magnets: Also known as ceramic magnets, these permanent magnets are made from a combination of iron oxide and strontium carbonate. Ferrite magnets are known for their low cost, high corrosion resistance, and moderate magnetic properties.
  • Neodymium Magnets: A type of rare-earth permanent magnet made from an alloy of neodymium, iron, and boron (NdFeB). Neodymium magnets are the strongest commercially available permanent magnets and offer excellent magnetic properties and energy density.
  • Samarium Cobalt Magnets (SmCo): A type of rare-earth permanent magnet made from an alloy of samarium and cobalt. SmCo magnets are known for their high resistance to demagnetization, excellent temperature stability, and strong magnetic properties.
  • Laminated Magnets: Magnets composed of multiple layers of magnetic material separated by thin insulation layers. Laminated magnets help reduce eddy currents and heat generation in high-speed applications such as electric motors and generators.
  • Magnet Grades: A classification system indicating the maximum energy product (BHmax) and other magnetic properties of a magnet. Higher magnet grades typically correspond to stronger magnetic properties.
  • Hysteresis Loop: A graph that represents the magnetization and demagnetization behavior of a magnetic material. The area enclosed by the hysteresis loop represents the energy loss during a magnetization cycle.
  • Pole Pitch: The distance between two similar magnetic poles in a magnetized material or device, such as a multipole magnet or a motor.
  • Magnetic Assembly: A combination of permanent magnets and other components, such as metal, plastic, or adhesive materials, assembled to create a functional magnetic system for various applications.
  • Eddy Currents: Circular electric currents induced in a conductor, such as metal, when exposed to a changing magnetic field. Eddy currents can generate heat and cause energy loss in magnetic systems, particularly in high-speed applications.

This glossary serves as a starting point for understanding the key terms related to permanent magnets. Familiarizing yourself with this terminology will enable you to grasp the intricacies of magnetic science and make informed decisions when selecting or working with permanent magnets in various applications.

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Jonah Jin

Jonah Jin
Managing Director

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