Neodymium Iron Boron magnets are constructed using an alloy which consists of, amongst other materials, the following elements (as the name might suggest), Neodymium, Iron and Boron.
You might also see the magnets referred to as NdFeb, NIB or Neo. A Neo magnet is known to be the strongest of its kind on the market and when manufactured are available in a whole host of sizes and shapes, as well as varying grades. Bunting Magnetics stock as many as 53 different grades of licenced, standard corrosion resistance NdFeb. In addition to this, there are now 72 further grades available which support an improved corrosion resistance. Each of these particular grades are available in 30 different coating (or finish) types bringing the grand total to 125 grades and 34 finishes – that’s a staggering 4250 variations or combinations.
These magnets are sintered anisotropically, which essentially means that the alloy is jet milled down to a fine powder which is then compressed and made compact while in the presence of a magnetic field, which gives it its direction of magnetisation. At this stage, the NdFeB are sintered (the process of creating a solid substance through the use of heat, pressure or the combination of both) in order to fuse the aforementioned powder together. The final step of the process involves machining and magnetising the substance and once this is complete, you have a super strong Neodymium magnet.
Neodymium magnets - Rare Earth magnets
These super strength magnets are sometimes also known as rare earth magnets. They are not rare in the sense that the materials are scarce. However, there are only two types - samarium–cobalt being the other one in question. NdFeB qualifies as a rare earth magnet thanks to the neodymium element which, on the Periodic Table, has a value of 60. Tonnes and tonnes of Neo magnets are produced every single year.
Initially developed more than 30 years ago, Neodymium Iron Boron magnets were first made available for commercial use in 1984. The first main task for the product was to be used in voice coil motors inside the hard disk drives of computers and even today, more than half of the produced magnets are used for this purpose. There are a range of other applications that now feature NdFeB and some of them include loudspeakers, sensors, magnetic resonance imaging, generators, magnetic separation and brushless DC motors. Novelty items are the latest products to benefit with fridge magnets in particular using this technology. In the retail sector, items that can be attached magnetically also feature Neo magnets.