Types of Magnetic Metals

Types of Magnetic Metals

A magnetic metal is a type of material that can either cause an attraction or be repelled by a magnetic field. The magnetic field is the area or region around a magnetic material.

Types of Magnetism in Metals

· Diamagnetism

Diamagnetism is a property of materials that are not attracted to a magnet.

It has material that causes them to repel by a magnetic field. They create a weak magnetic response to a magnetic field.

· Ferromagnetism

These are magnetic materials. With their magnetic moments aligned, they can be strong magnets or cause strong magnetic fields.


These are materials that are weakly attracted to magnets. The movement of atoms aligns with the applied field causing a weak attraction.

Examples of Magnetic Metals


· Iron

Iron is a shiny, grey metal and one of the strongest ferromagnetic metals that can be used to create steel alloys. It rusts when exposed to damp conditions and has different crystalline structures resulting in different properties of iron.

In most cases, we use iron in many applications such as engineering, manufacturing, and household applications.

· Steel

Steel is usually silver or grey and is attracted to a magnet. This metal is known for its high strength and endurance. You can find it in many applications such as engineering.

Furthermore, it is a popular material in permanent magnets.

· Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is classified into different categories according to their crystalline structure.

Stainless steel is classified into two categories mainly;

  • Nonmagnetic stainless steel
  • Magnetic stainless steel

Austenitic Structure

Austenitic is a nonmagnetic stainless steel that contains high levels of chromium and nickel content.It can be used where magnetic properties are undesirable since it is non-magnetic. Also, it is known for corrosion resistance, high ductility, and high-temperature strength.


These stainless steels are magnetic. Its unique composition and structure contribute to the magnetic properties.


The crystal structure of martensitic stainless steel can be ferromagnetic and arise through a diffusionless phase transformation. The transformation can result in a certain arrangement of atoms and they contain high levels of carbons.

It offers a wide range of properties that are used in stainless engineering steel, and stainless tool steel among others.

· Nickel

Nickel is another type of magnetic metal that has ferromagnetic properties. It is used in different applications such as coins, magnets, batteries, etc.

· Cobalt

Cobalt is a ferromagnetic metal known for its high-strength properties. It can be used in different applications such as;

  • It is used in radioactive isotopes.
  • Used in the petroleum industry as a catalyst
  • Cobalt is used in mining.

Cobalt can be used for high-temperature applications up to 500 degrees Celsius. It makes magnets with high Curie temperature.

· Gadolinium

Gadolinium is a silvery white ductile metal with a high melting point and is usually stable in dry air. Gadolinium reacts with moisture to form a black coating and is used in nuclear reactors and MRI contract agents.

· Dysprosium

Dysprosium is a bright, silver metallic that is reactive and can react with air and moisture and is stable at room temperature. It can also react with cold water and rapidly with hot water.

There are many applications of dysprosium such as in automotive motors, wind turbines, electric vehicles, commercial and studying chemical reactions.

· Terbium

Terbium is a soft, malleable, and ductile rare element that is stable in the air and oxides very slowly. It can also react with cold water. When terbium comes in contact with skin it may irritate.

Terbium is used in various applications such as;

  • Used in the production of phosphorus for color television tubes.
  • It is used in the manufacturing of electric devices
  • Production of fluorescent lamps.
  • It is used in the manufacturing of lasers.

· Alloys of Rare-earth Metals

Other alloys with metallic properties and exhibit magnetic behavior include:


Samariums have a higher curie temperature that is highly resistant to oxidation. It is a silver metal that is stable in air at a room temperature. It can also be oxidized in moist air.


It is a common material that you can use to make strong permanent magnets. Neodymium is used in different applications such as electric motors, hard disks, drivers, jewelry clasps, and bicycle dynamics.

Neodymium magnets are known for their low Curie temperature and have a higher magnetic.

What Creates Magnetism in Metals

What Creates Magnetism in Metals

Magnetism material becomes magnetized when a large number of atoms in a material have their magnetic moments aligned in the same direction.

Usually, magnetism is a metal created by the uneven distribution of electrons in an atom of a certain metal element. A magnetic dipole is created when the movement of electrons creates a south pole and a north pole.

Another common term when analyzing magnetism in metals is the magnetic domain.

A magnetic domain is created when dipoles align with each other. Usually, magnetic domains face in different directions causing them to repel. This happens in unmagnetized material.

Remember, magnetic properties depend on the arrangement of atoms in a given material. Depending on the magnetic properties of metals, you can have:

  • Permanent magnets; these types of magnets can generate their magnetic fields and they can retain their magnetic properties.
  • Temporary magnets; this is a type of magnet that can retain their magnetic properties for only a certain period.
  • Electromagnetic magnets; are this type of magnet in which magnetic fields are produced by electric current.
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