Is zinc Magnetic

Zinc is NOT a magnetic material.

For a material to be magnetic it needs to have unpaired electrons. Zinc does not have any unpaired electrons and as such it is not magnetic.

However, all metals including non-magnetic metals have to some degree a bit of magnetism in them.

Zinc photo credits Britanicca
Zinc photo credits Britanicca

Magnetic Properties of Zinc

All metals even non-metals have magnetic properties. However, for a metal to be magnetic it needs to have unpaired electrons. The unpaired electrons spin allowing them to cast their magnetic field. Magnetism is divided into three different categories.

Metals that are highly magnetic fall under a type of magnetism known as ferromagnetism. Zinc falls under a type of magnetism known as diamagnetism. In some cases, under special circumstances it also exhibits paramagnetism.

Diamagnetic is a standard property of all materials. Diamagnetic metals display a slight repulsion when exposed to a magnetic field.

Their weak reaction is therefore often overshadowed by a strong magnetic field. When exposed to a magnetic field each atom aligns itself in the opposite direction. This alignment results in a weak magnetic effect.

Paramagnetism metals on the other hand function in principle opposite to the Diamagnetic metals. When subjected to a magnetic field, the metal atoms align in a similar direction to the field. This results in a weak attraction to the magnetic field.

Can Zinc become Magnetic?


Zinc cannot become magnetic. There are several ways in which you can make a non-magnetic material have a magnetic charge but the results are often weak and short-lived. One way of magnetizing an object is by subjecting the object to electricity.

If you change the electronic configuration of an object, then the object can magnetize. This method however works best with ferromagnetic metals.

Ferromagnetic metals contain atoms whose magnetic moments align in the same direction resulting in a strong magnetic field.

These metals also have unpaired electrons present. Impure forms of zinc such as zinc oxide when exposed to magnetic impurities can turn into a ferromagnetic material. However, zinc itself cannot become magnetic.

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