There are three main types of magnets – permanent, temporary and electromagnets. Of these three types, permanent magnets are the ones the average person is most familiar with. A good example of a common, everyday permanent magnet is a fridge magnet.
They are considered permanent because once they are magnetized they keep their level of magnetism. It is an object made from a material that is magnetized and it creates its own persistent magnetic field.
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They can be created in almost every possible shape. A good magnet should produce a high magnetic field with a low mass. In addition, when you are looking for qualities of a good permanent magnet you want to ensure that it is stable against the influences that can demagnetize it.
There are a number of different types of these and each type has different characteristics and properties. What differentiates these includes:
• How easily they can be demagnetized
• How strong they are
• How their strength changes depending on the temperature
Types of permanent magnets include:
• Ceramic (also known as ferrite)
Neodymium and samarium-cobalt are classified as rare earth magnets. Rare earth magnets produce the largest magnetic flux with the smallest mass. These are known for being the strongest of all the permanent magnets and are difficult to demagnetize.
Alnico's name is derived from its components. Alnico is made of aluminum, nickel, and cobalt. This type is not easily affected by temperature, however, it is easily demagnetized.