Neodymium Magnet: Tips for safe handling
Facts About Neodymium Magnets
Neodymium is an element that was discovered in 1885 (pronounced “nee-eh-dim-ee-em”), it was not until the early 1980’s that the element was alloyed with iron and boron to create the “Neodymium Magnets” that we use today.
The name “Rare Earth Magnets” does not refer to their abundance. Neodymium is about as common as tin or lead. The term Rare Earth relates to a specific group of elements in the Periodic Table which lists all known elements in groups according to their similar chemical properties
There are two types of “Rare Earth Magnets” SMCO (Samarium-Cobalt) and Neodymium. Neodymium are the magnetically stronger and cheaper of the two but are more susceptible to oxidation, this is why they are protected by Nickel plating.
Neodymium magnets are many times more powerful than the better known Ferrite magnets. The magnetic strength of a Neodymium magnet is measured by its “N” number; the higher the number the more powerful the magnet. N numbers range from N27 – N52. It is also important to note that the higher powered magnets are also very brittle.
The power of the attraction of a magnet also is related to the thickness of the Steel to which it is being attracted. The thicker the steel the stronger the magnetic attraction!
Limitations and Safety
- All nickel plated type neodymium magnets are designed to be used in dry conditions.
- Neodymium magnets are by nature both hard and brittle. Care must be taken when handling these magnets as there is a danger from trapped fingers, pinched skin and flying shards of metal if carelessly handled.
- Never Allow Neodymium magnets to jump together or to jump to steel as they will likely shatter. Brittle means they break easily.
- Suitable for usage up to a maximum of 80 degrees Centigrade.
- These magnets are not toys and are therefore not suitable for use by children.
- Always keep magnets away from items that may be damaged by the powerful magnetic field such as credit cards, computer drives, mobile phones etc.
- Not to be handled near or by people with Heart Pace Makers etc.