Could you benefit from using rare earth magnets?

When you are creating a design for a new project, there are many aspects that you must consider, but one of the most basic will be how the device will function. For many products, you will want some form of electrical power, whether you need the mains voltage or power from a battery. Other devices may rely on human input, chemical reactions or even gravity to operate. One force that you can't afford to ignore is magnetism. An increasing number of products both large and small, use a type of magnetism to hold two things together or to propel them apart.

Why hasn't magnetism been more widely used?

While the principles of magnetism have been known for many years, it has often been considered a weak force with impractically large, bulky magnets needed to achieve sufficient magnetic force for many applications. However, in recent years that has changed with rare earth magnets becoming more widely used. Unlike the ferrite or alnico magnets, you may remember from school science experiments that rare earth magnets are strong. They can produce a much greater magnetic force from a far smaller magnet than would previously have been possible.

Where can you find rare earth magnets?

The two key advantages offered by rare earth magnets are their small size and their increased power. These advantages have led to them being used on everything from the smallest pieces of jewellery to the largest commercial projects. In between, you may find rare earth magnets in hand tools, kitchen appliances or medical or dental equipment. Whatever you want to create, there is probably a way to incorporate rare earth magnets into your design.

Selecting your rare earth magnets

With the benefits of rare earth magnets being so apparent, you might think you can take any rare earth magnet and fit it into what you are building, but that won't work. You must have the right rare earth magnets for your application. Rare earth magnets are available in several grades. The grades can indicate how the magnet might be influenced by external factors. Look into the intended operating environment and other possible influences before trying to buy a magnet. The operating temperature of your environment can affect how well the magnet works. The corrosive nature of any chemicals that you use or just continual exposure to rain could impact the grade of magnet that you will need. Talk to your supplier if you aren't certain which rare earth magnet is best for your situation.