Magnets work in hundreds of applications around you every day. Depending on the application, the magnet can be a permanent magnet or an electromagnet. Both permanent magnets and electromagnets have different characteristics and advantages.
As the name implies, a permanent magnet refers to any magnetic material in which atoms have been permanently aligned to produce a permanent magnetic field. The magnetization process takes place during the manufacturing process.
Permanent magnets can be made of several different materials, including ceramics, alnico, sa cobalt and neodymium. Neodymium magnets and sa cobalt magnets are also classified as rare earth magnets. Compared with the size of the material, these magnets have excellent retention strength.
The magnetic strength of a permanent magnet depends to a large extent on the material composition of the magnet. Their inherent physical structure determines the maximum strength based on material, size and shape. This is a fixed number and will not change after magnetization. On the other hand, the strength of the electromagnet fluctuates according to the amount of current supplied. The same electromagnet can provide multiple magnetic intensities.
The main advantage of permanent magnets is that they can be operated without a power source, which makes them highly energy-efficient. They are easy to carry to various locations. In addition, their very small size makes them ideal for size constrained applications.
Permanent magnets face limitations in terms of operating temperature. This loss of strength in very hot environments makes them unsuitable for certain applications – or require special cooling. Their fixed magnetic strength also makes them unattractive for users seeking a lot of flexibility.
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