So, What are Ferrite Magnets? Get the Full Explanation Here!
When I read about something called a ferrite magnet in an article the other day, the unique name sparked my curiosity. After learning about multiple types of magnets, I had never heard of this one. As a result, I did the necessary research to come up with a full explanation of what ferrite magnets are.
What are ferrite magnets? Ferrite magnets fall under a special category of magnet that is considered to be a ceramic material. Made of a variety of mixed metals and iron oxide, there are different types of ferrite magnets that exist in the world.
Most people would be surprised to learn that there is actually an entirely separate classification of magnets that are known as ferrite magnets. To find out everything you need to know about the factors that determine what a ferrite magnet is, keep reading this quick and easy explanation.
What Are Ferrite Magnets
Ferrite magnets, or ceramic magnets, are a very interesting type of magnet. With incredible durability and strength as well as different classifications underneath this category, there is tons of intriguing information to learn about them.
The list down below will give you a general idea of what a ferrite magnet is, including some of the characteristics and what they are made of.
- Made of iron oxide
- Combined with other chemical elements
- 2 types of ferrite magnets
- Resistant to demagnetization
- Strong and durable
- Weaker than neodymium magnets
- Difficult to alter
Ferrite and ceramic magnets possess an extremely strong magnetic field. Unlike some other types of magnets like electromagnets that require an electric current to produce an attraction, the chemical makeup of ferrite magnets allows them to do this all on their own.
While ferrite magnets are made up of a combination of multiple chemical elements, the main ingredient across this entire category is iron oxide. Both types of ferrite magnets include their own unique elements, with about 90 percent of the material being made of iron oxide.
Ferrite magnets are very strong and durable, but they are weaker than the average neodymium magnet, which is slightly more versatile.
If you ever find yourself in a position where you need to change the shape of a ferrite magnet, you will most likely need to consult a professional or purchase a custom ferrite magnet in the first place.
This is due to the fact that the materials in ferrite magnets are very hard and brittle, making them more prone to crumble and shatter if the surface is disturbed or cut into in any way. While it is possible to do this successfully, it is not likely nor is it recommended.
Keep reading on to the next section to get all of the details about the two separate types of ferrite magnets that were mentioned in the general explanation of these magnets.
Types Of Ferrite Magnets
When it comes to the classification of ferrite magnets, there are two different types of magnets under this category. The factor that separates the two is the materials they are made of.
Types Of Ferrite Magnets:
- Strontium Ferrite (SrO.6Fe2O3)
- Barium Ferrite (BaO.6Fe2O3)
The two types of ferrite magnets are known as strontium ferrite and barium ferrite. Strontium Ferrite magnets are the most widely manufactured and used ferrite magnets. The chemical classification in this category is SrO.6Fe2O3.
To explain this in the most simple of terms, strontium ferrite magnets are created from the combination of iron oxide and strontium carbonate. This mixture, however, is made up mostly of iron oxide.
In fact, iron oxide accounts for about 90 percent of strontium ferrite magnets, whereas the strontium carbonate is only responsible for the other 10 percent.
Barium ferrite magnets, on the other hand, contain the same amounts of iron oxide, with chemical traces of the element Barium among a few others.
While Strontium and Barium ferrite magnets could easily be confused for two complete different objects, they are both still classified as ferrite magnets. Even though they have an opposite chemical makeup, they share the common characteristic of being made up of mixed metals.
Are Ferrite Magnets Considered Permanent Magnets?
If you have ever heard of permanent magnets or know anything about their characteristics, you might have realized that ferrite magnets possess qualities that are very similar in nature.
This is due to the face that ferrite magnets are actually classified as permanent magnets as well. Take a look at the quick comparison below to find out everything they have in common.
- Combination of chemical elements
- Made mostly of iron oxide
- 2 main types of ferrite magnets
- Some of the strongest in the world
- 4 main types of permanent magnets
- Include neodymium iron boron, samarium cobalt, alnico, and ceramic/ferrite magnets
- Durable and long-lasting
As discussed in the previous sections, ferrite magnets are composed of a combination of various chemical elements. With two main types of magnets that are considered to be ceramic of ferrite, they each are made up mostly of the element iron oxide.
Permanent magnets, on the other hand, are considered to have some of the strongest magnetic forces in the world. There are 4 main types of permanent magnets that exist, including ferrite magnets.
The other three categories of permanent magnets are neodymium iron boron, samarium cobalt, and alnico. Made up of several different chemical elements that are shown in their names, all types of permanent magnets, including ferrite magnets, are able to create their own magnetic field without any external assistance.
The scientific classification of Neodymium iron boron magnets is NdFeB, while the samarium cobalt is referred to as SmCo. Alnico, on the other hand, is defined as a family of iron alloys.
These alloys, or mixtures of various traces of metal, usually consist of mostly nickel, cobalt, and aluminum. They are also considered ferromagnetic, which is why they are commonly used as an active ingredient in making permanent magnets.
The different types of permanent magnets also have different levels of strength. You might have noticed in the first description of ferrite magnets that they are much less powerful than neodymium magnets.
So, even though ferrite magnets are incredibly strong permanent magnets, they lack power in some instances.
In conclusion, a ferrite magnet, also known as a ceramic magnet, is a type of permanent magnet that is made up mostly of a material called iron oxide. With two separate types of ferrite magnets, there are various types of chemical elements that can be found throughout these solid materials.
Can you cut into ferrite/ceramic magnets to alter their shape?
While it is not recommended to cut or alter ferrite and ceramic magnets, it can be done if you proceed carefully. Since this type of material is very brittle and fragile, the best way to go about separating it is to slowly and precisely drill through both sides, flushing out the holes as you go.
Are permanent magnets also considered to be rare earth magnets?
Rare earth magnets and permanent magnets are technically the same things. Both neodymium magnets and samarium cobalt magnets are considered to be under the rare earth category, which is both classified as permanent.
What is the strongest type of permanent magnet?
The strongest type of rare earth or permanent magnet is the neodymium magnet. Anything that contains this element as the main ingredient will have an incredibly strong magnetic force that can withstand almost anything and will last for several years.