What Are the Strongest Magnets?

Since their first inception, magnets have come a long way resulting in the broad array of strong magnetic available today. These magnets are employed in simple tasks like refrigerator door closing as well as sophisticated tasks like magnetic lifting.

What Makes a Magnet the Strongest?

The strength of a magnet measures the magnet’s ability to accomplish its set purpose. For instance, how effectively and efficiently the magnet attracts or repels certain objects. To determine a magnet’s strength, numerous features must be examined. They include:

· Temperature Resistance

A magnet with a high tolerance for extreme temperatures, particularly high temperatures tends to exhibit high magnetic forces.

Temperature resistance is often used to determine magnetic strength because it depicts the ease or difficulty with which a magnet can lose its magnetism. Magnets with low-temperature resistance demonstrate relatively weaker magnetic strengths because their magnetic domains are easily misaligned whenever they are subjected to heat.

· Material of the Magnet

The magnetic material, which acts as the magnet’s core plays a big part in determining the strength of a magnet.

Magnets made from rare earth magnetic materials are generally very strong. For instance, NdFeB magnets are some of the strongest magnets available today and this is because of the crystalline structure of the elements they are made from.

· Behavior to Magnetic Field

Magnets react differently when exposed to external magnetic fields. In strong magnets, the magnetic domains line up in unison when the magnet is exposed to external magnetic fields. This results in a stronger magnetic field.

Weak magnets, on the contrary, experience interruption in their domain arrangement resulting in magnetism loss.

· Method of Magnetization

Magnetic materials are equipped with magnetic properties using varying methods. Each method has varying degrees of effectiveness thereby resulting in magnets with varying strengths.

Magnets that are magnetized via hard magnetization, which involves subjecting the magnetic material to more superior external fields create stronger magnets.

· Magnet Design and Shape

Contemporary magnets are manufactured in a range of distinct designs and shapes. These distinctions consequently determine how strong or weak the magnet is.  For instance, bar magnets, which have their magnetic poles on the opposite ends, showcase stronger magnetic forces than ring magnets.

Bar Magnet
Bar Magnet
Ring Magnet
Ring Magnet

What Are the Strongest Magnets?

Magnetic strength can be demonstrated by a number of distinct properties such as magnetic field strength, temperature stability, and corrosion resistance. Underneath, we look at the varying categories of strong magnets starting from the strongest and working our way down.

· Neodymium Magnets

Neodymium magnets are universally regarded as the most robust magnets at present. This is because the elements they are made from (Neodymium, iron, and boron) have a crystalline structure, which facilitates the uniform alignment of their magnetic domains.

This uniform arrangement consequently facilitates the generation of powerful magnetic fields.

Neodymium Disk Magnet
Neodymium Disk Magnet

Characteristics

  • Unmatched magnetic strength.
  • Robust magnetic fields despite being small and compact.
  • They are not easily demagnetized.
  • Coated with anti-corrosion materials.

Properties

· High Energy Product

Neodymium magnets average the highest range of energy density. With an energy product as high as 50 MGOe, they can preserve humongous amounts of magnetic energy in relatively smaller surface areas.

· Robust Magnetic Field

Compared to other magnets, neodymium magnets generate the most robust magnetic fields. This is because of the uniform alignment demonstrated by their magnetic moments and domains.

Magnetic Domain

· High Coercivity

NdFeB magnets demonstrate unmatchable resistance to magnetism loss or demagnetization. This is enabled by their distinct composition and magnetic anisotropy.

· High Remanence

In addition to exhibiting great resistance to demagnetization, neodymium magnets also demonstrate a tremendous ability to hold onto their magnetic powers. This phenomenon is referred to as remanence.

Even when they are subjected to demagnetizing conditions like high temperatures and external magnetic fields, they still retain magnetism.

Here is a table depicting the distinct neodymium magnet grades and their respective magnetic strength.

Neodymium Magnet Grade Magnetic Strength (MGOe)
N52 50-53
N50 48-51
N48 46-49
N45 43-46
N42 40-43
N40 38-41
N38 36-39
N35 33-36

 

Samarium Cobalt Magnets

Abbreviated as SmCo magnets, samarium cobalt magnets rank as the first runner to neodymium magnets when it comes to magnetic strength.

Their primary make-up includes samarium and cobalt. However, they feature traces of other elements like copper and iron.

Samarium Cobalt Magnet
Samarium Cobalt Magnet

Characteristics

  • Relatively high magnetic strength.
  • High-temperature resistance.
  • Relatively high resistance to demagnetization.
  • High resistance to corrosion.

Properties

· Relatively High Energy Product

When ranking the magnetic energy product of permanent magnets, samarium cobalt magnets come second to NdFeB magnets. They have a relatively high BHmax value (15-32MGOe). This means they can store high volumes of magnetic energy despite their small size.

· Relatively Strong Magnetic Fields

Owing to their relatively high energy product samarium cobalt permanent magnets are able to occasion quite strong magnetic fields. They are however incapable of producing magnetic fields as strong as those generated by neodymium magnets.

· Relatively High Coercivity

When exposed to demagnetizing influences like high temperatures and corrosive elements, SmCo magnets still keep ahold of their magnetism. Due to this property, they are extensively employed in industries susceptible to high temperatures and corrosion.

· Relatively High Remanence

SmCo magnets have one of the highest residual induction. As such, they keep hold of their magnetic properties even when they are left unprotected from superior, foreign magnetic fields.

Here is a table demonstrating the distinct magnetic strengths of varying grades of samarium cobalt magnets.

SmCo Magnet Grade Magnetic Strength (MGOe)
SmCo16 14-16
SmCo18 16-18
SmCo20 19-21
SmCo22 20-22
SmCo24 22-24
SmCo26 24-26
SmCo28 26-28
SmCo30 28-30
SmCo32 29-33

 

Magnetic Strength of Electromagnets

Electromagnet
Electromagnet

Electromagnets can showcase different levels of magnetic strength depending on various factors. Electromagnets occasioning the most robust magnetic fields tend to exhibit stronger magnetic forces. The factors that determine the strength of an electromagnet include:

  • The electromagnet’s core material.
  • Current strength.
  • Number of coil (wire) turns.

Due to the adjustable nature of electromagnets, they are broadly utilized in applications requiring strong magnetic powers.

FAQs

What is the World’s Strongest Magnet Used for?

The world’s strongest magnets include electromagnets, neodymium magnets, and SmCo magnets. These magnets are characterized by robust magnetic fields which qualify their use in the following applications:

  • Scientific research
  • Magnetic levitation
  • Magnetic separation
  • Electric motors
  • Magnetic storage
  • Fusion research

What are the Dangers of Strongest Magnets?

Despite exhibiting a range of immeasurable advantages, strong magnets can pose a danger to users and surrounding objects. This is a consequence of their extremely robust magnetic fields. Some of the dangers to be wary about include:

  • Pinching or crushing injuries may be occasioned when one is caught in the middle of strong magnetic fields.
  • When ingested, serious complications such as tissue damage may be experienced if the magnets get attracted to external objects.
  • They can disrupt or damage the functioning of nearby electronics.

Do Strongest Magnets Lose Magnetism?

Yes. Even the strongest of magnets can experience partial or complete demagnetization. However, the likelihood of this happening is quite rare. Additionally, it can take decades before strong permanent magnets lose magnetic capabilities substantially. Factors that can lead to magnetism loss in strong magnets include:

  • Frequent exposure to extreme temperatures.
  • Physical shock.
  • Over-exposure to superior external magnetic fields.
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