If you own a cordless tool, computer, printer, microphone, speaker, a purse with a magnetic closure, or car with a DC motor you are benefiting from the magnetic properties of a neodymium magnet. The neodymium magnet is the strongest permanent magnet ever made. Other uses for the magnet are crafts and various other applications using magnet separators and linear actuators. Neodymium magnets are composed of neodymium, iron, boron, and several transition metals. General Motors and Sumitomo Special Metals developed neodymium magnets in 1982 to replace the permanent magnets from another supplier. Neodymium Rare Earth Magnets.
The neodymium magnet is classified as a rare earth magnet. Rare earth magnets are known to cause hazardous results when carelessly handled. Injuries have resulted when body parts are caught between two magnets or a magnet and a metal surface. Bones have been broken from the magnetic force and if swallowed, digestive tracts have suffered injury and even death has resulted. The magnet also has the capacity to wipe data off of credit cards and CD’s.
Neodymium magnets are available in different shapes like discs, rings, spheres, triangles, cubes, and stars for assorted applications. Magnets are also constructed with easily mounted plated steel casings. The rare earth magnet is vulnerable to corrosion and is usually coated with nickel plating to protect it without compromising its magnetic properties.
The mechanical applications are in electric motors like compressor motors, synchronous motors, power steering, and drive motors in electric vehicles like the Toyota Prius. The intense strength of neodymium magnets inspired its use in jewelry clasps, parachute equipment, and children’s toy building sets. With it multiple uses the neodymium magnet has established its place in the manufacturing community. Despite its hazards when used improperly, this rare earth magnet usefulness far outweighs its negative properties.