Industries like engineering, aerospace, automotive and countless others rely heavily on various kinds of magnets in the manufacturing process or the finished product for their functioning. Typically coming in the form of a bar, a block, or a coin, they are also in demand for household use.
The temperature tolerant alnico
Alnico magnets get their name from the elements they are made of aluminium, nickel and cobalt. They have impeccable magnetic strength and can withstand temperature levels up to 500 degrees Celcius. This feature makes them relatively more expensive. Because they may be prone to demagnetisation, their length and shape are crucial aspects. They mostly come in the types of a bar, horseshoe, rod etc. and would probably have the poles marked. They are typically used in electricity metres, cow bearings, guitar pick-ups, sensors, aerospace and military applications etc. as well as many household objects.
The perennial ferrite
Ferrite or ceramic magnets are composed of iron oxide and several metals. They may come as soft or hard ferrites, depending on the composition. They are unlikely to demagnetise and are highly corrosion-resistant without a protective plating and can operate at temperature levels up to 250 degrees Celcius. These relatively inexpensive magnets are often used in applications where large magnets are needed. Easily recognised by their deep grey graphite shade, the popular types come in the shape of a ring, a bar or a disc. Typical uses are as holiday fridge magnets and in loudspeakers, printing, DIY projects etc.
Neodymium magnets for the little yet powerful
Perhaps the most powerful permanent magnets presently available, these rare earth magnets permit tiny and compact constructions that enable them to be used in small sensors, miniature equipment, hard-drives, etc. Often requiring a coating of nickel or copper to be corrosion-resistant, they come as small blocks, coins, hooks, rings etc. However, they have high adhesive strength and could lift weights that are unimaginable for their size.
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