The first neodymium magnets were industrially available in the 1970’s. These rare earth magnets are the strongest magnets currently available. These magnets contain «rare earth» (Nd2F14B), metals with similar properties of lanthanides and highly volatile prices. Their manufacturing process is very complex and different raw materials must be mixed under specific conditions (vacuum or inert gas).
More sensitive to oxidation than other magnetic materials, neodymium magnets are in most cases provided with surface treatment, mainly zinc, nickel or epoxy. Therefore, neodymium magnets are generally more expensive than other types of magnets.
Due to their excellent magnetic properties, NdFeB magnets offer great flexibility of use in replacing traditional materials such as ferrite magnets, alnico and samarium cobalt with greater efficiency and more compact format. These magnets are generally used for applications requiring a strong magnetic field in a small space. For comparison, the magnets require up to five times less space than ferrite magnets, at equivalent magnetic strength. Nevertheless, this type of magnets has a lower maximum temperature of use, up to 180°C for some grades.
NdFeB magnets can have maximum energy product of up to 53 MGOe and they possess a high remanence and coercivity. They are available in a wide range of colors, sizes and shapes to suit specific applications.