Neodymium is the strongest permanent magnet mankind has ever found. That’s pretty cool by itself, but the sheer number of uses these super magnets can be put to is even more mind-blowing. From wind turbines to cell phones to electric cars, these tiny, brilliant bits of metal are already powering the modern world.
So, what is a neodymium magnet?
Join us as we answer that question and more with a quick jaunt into the incredible world of the most powerful magnets on Earth.
What Is Neodymium?
Neodymium was discovered by Carl Auer von Welsbach in 1885. The process of extracting, refining, and processing the material into small and large neodymium magnets has been developing since then.
In fact, calling the magnets ‘neodymium magnets’ is a bit of a misnomer. What we today know as neodymium magnets are created from an alloy made up of boron, iron, and our friend neodymium.
Using an alloy to produce the magnets instead of pure neodymium means you can make them at room temperature, instead of needing freezing cold conditions. Even better, this process still creates a magnet that is both strong and also resistant to forms of demagnetization.
And, for obvious reasons, that’s pretty useful when you need a really strong magnet and you don’t want to keep replacing it.
And the cherry on top? The magnets are completely unfazed by temperatures of up to 200 degrees celsius. These things can work in the toughest conditions you can imagine.
What Is a Neodymium Magnet Used For?
Not fridge magnets, that’s for sure (unless you’re happy to have a fridge magnet you’re never going to remove by hand). No, instead neodymium magnets are at the vanguard of the world’s switch to renewable energy, among other things.
For example, ever traveled in an electric car? There was a neodymium magnet in the DC motor keeping the whole thing going. Meanwhile, wind power uses these magnets to produce electricity.
In other words, a ‘green’ future is a neodymium future. Not bad for a material from the 19th century!
But there are plenty of less civilizational uses for these magnets. Your phone’s vibrations might be powered by neodymium, your TV might use the technology, or your headphones might contain small neodymium magnets to produce high-quality audio.
There’s no end to the places you can run into these magnets. And it’s a list that will only get longer as more and more uses are found for them. Check out these custom ones, for example, that let innovators specify the exact kind of magnet they need to make their dreams come true.
The Neodymium Age
So, what is a neodymium magnet? Possibly the defining material of the 21st century, that’s what. Whoever and wherever you are, you’re probably already relying on hundreds of neodymium magnets all around you in your day-to-day life; they’re just that important.
It’s a neodymium world; we’re just living in it.
Liked this article? Check out our site for more!