Is Neodymium Naturally Magnetic?
Neodymium is the material behind, what we call Super Magnets or Power Magnets.
Neodymium is a chemical element, which is found at number 60 in the Periodic Table of elements with the symbol Nd. it is classified as a lanthanide, a rare-earth metal.
Is neodymium naturally magnetic? Yes, neodymium is naturally magnetic, because it is a ferromagnetic material, meaning it is an element that can be magnetized. It is used to form permanent magnets but it’s also attracted by magnets. Neodymium is usually refined, which means it has to be processed before becoming a magnet.
Depending on, how you define magnetic, we would say neodymium is magnetic because it can be magnetized. But it is not likely you will find a permanent magnet in nature as we know magnets today.
Continue to read, if you want to know more about natural magnets, also called lodestones, the history behind the compass, the process behind neodymium magnets which is commonly the strongest magnet on the market.
Is Neodymium naturally magnetic?
As we stated earlier, Yes. It is not a magnet, but the rare-earth metal is attracted to magnets and is capable of being magnetized. Magnetic attraction is characterized by fields of force, and with the right process, neodymium can be shaped as very powerful magnets.
Besides being the strongest permanent magnet, neodymium magnets are also fairly cheap and light weighted, so they just like ants, can lift many times their own weight. You can find our selection of Power magnets if you follow this link.
If you still are interested in learning more about neodymium magnets, keep reading. We won't get too technical in this blog post, but we will try to give an image of, how the magnets we love so much are created and shaped, the history behind magnets, and what it can be used for in your daily life.
The process of making neodymium magnets
In an earlier post, we have written about the different shapes of magnets. The most iconic and illustrated shape is the horseshoe-shaped magnet. But magnets come in all kinds of shapes, but how is the process for making permanent magnets as we know them?
Maybe you have seen the superhero-villain ‘Magneto’ pull ferromagnetic elements out of different materials. Then he uses the magnetic fields to move heavy objects, and it is kind of the same idea, as when you try to process the neodymium into a permanent magnet, but in real life.
It happens a little differently. When you make a permanent magnet, you find the right “ingredients” from the earth and try to combine them. You also call this alloys. The alloy for permanent magnets is different due to which type you want to create, but the most common and strongest is called NdFeB.
NdFeb is when you combine neodymium Nd, with both iron and boron. Then you get Power Magnets. As I mentioned earlier, we won't get too technical in this post, but the idea is just to create an image of how the process is behind creating a forming the well-known magnet.
When you have your metals, an alloy is made by mixing the different metals together. This usually happens by melting them so they can mix while they are in a liquid form.
Afterward, a sintering process is started. You have to compact and form a solid mass, without it turns back to a liquid form. This needs to be done by professionals. Later on, when you have created and shaped the alloy, you have to magnetize it, so it becomes a magnet.
The process of making neodymium magnets is industrialized so the best alloys are made to be designed into magnets. But is it possible to find a natural-made magnet?
Natural Magnets & The Compass
The earth is behaving like one big magnet, and like magnets, it has two poles, and also a magnetic field. Before the industrialization of permanent magnets, stories about magnets go way back, before our timeline.
Natural magnets are also called lodestones. It is a naturally magnetized piece of the rock mineral ‘magnetite’. It is first mentioned in Greek history books found in the region of Magnesia, where the origin of the name is probably from.
The name lodestone comes from the usage of the magnetized stone, which could make iron needles function as a navigation-tool in cooperation with the magnetic field from the earth’s two poles. Lode means course or leading, and the magnetic stone was considered as the first compass in history.
So, you can say, the history of magnets has an extreme influence on how the history of the world has been shaped, especially with the function to help people navigate.
Magnets nowadays are used in many different aspects. The artificial way, mankind has learned to process and magnetize alloys means, that magnets can be very powerful. We have taken a look at some other usages of magnets, which is more common in your daily life.
Other usages of magnets
We have in earlier posts written about or mentioned the worlds strongest magnet, maglev trains, and huge electromagnets etc.
We are very fascinated by all the things magnetism can contribute to in this world, but our passion is especially influenced by, what you can use magnets for in your daily life.
When people think about magnets in their everyday lives, the use is often to find in the kitchen. That is because many of the elements in the kitchen are magnetic. Magnets are often used to hang up stuff on the fridge, but many also use magnets to hang up knives.
DIY-projects, Do It Yourself, is a way to creatively make your home or workspace more unique, and if you are good at it, you can make a smarter and better solution, which is often more cheap and fun, than to simply buy the finished product at a store.
It can be hard to figure out, how strong the magnet your DIY-project requires. You can always contact us if you need advice to your DIY-magnet-project, to figure out which magnets you need and what pulling force that you need for your particular purpose.
Then we can try to guide you about how much strength the different magnets can carry.
Make your own magnetic knife strip
You can do it. Make your own knife strip to hang up your knives in the kitchen. It is very easy, sometimes fun, and if you are good, it can also look very nice, at least of all - unique.
What do you need to know?
You need to know how much weight the magnet needs to carry. Our most sold “knife-magnet” is a Power magnet with strength on 6 kg - Block 20X20X5 mm. Find it by clicking on this link.
You can use the magnet to put on your fridge and then hang a knife on it. Then you would have a perfectly fine “knife holder” but if you want to make your own knife strip, you need more materials.
You can make a knife strip by attaching magnets on the other side of wood, cork, tiles or something else, where the magnet can use its force through the material. That is all you have to do to make your own knife strip. Be aware, the longer the distance is, and depending on the material, the force of the magnet will be weakened.
We suggest that there should not be more than 3mm between the magnet and the knife when you make your project. You could increase the magnetic force with a stronger magnetic, but then the project will just be more expensive. So, see if you can “dig” the magnet into the material in a cleaver way.
We have a Danish blog, where there is a demonstration movie of how to make your own knife strip. You can find it by clicking on this link, but we are also happy to guide and advise you on English if you contact us.
We hope you enjoyed reading this blog post and found some inspiration in the magnetic world.