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Alnico An acronym referring to cast alloy permanent magnets, primarily composed of aluminium (Al), nickel (Ni) and cobalt (Co). Alnico is characterised by its heavy weight and high heat-resistance. Prior to the development of rare earth magnets, they were the strongest type of magnet available
Aluminium [Al] - A chemical element with high resistance to corrosion. It is a silvery-white metal, most commonly used as an alloy. This material is non-magnetic.
Anisotropic A magnet having preferred orientation so that the magnetic characteristics are better along one axis than along any other axis.
Barium [Ba] - A chemical element with a high rate of oxidation. It is a soft, silvery alkaline metal which was historically used in the production of ceramic Ferrite magnets, however is no longer in use.
Boron [B] - A silvery-grey mettaloid. Pure boron is produced with difficulty, as it tends to form containing small amounts of carbon or other elements.
CGS A metric system of physical units ("centimetre-gram-second"), based on centimetre as the unit of length, gram as a unit of mass, and second as a unit of time
Cobalt [Co] - A ferromagnetic chemical element. It is a hard, lustrous silver metal used in the production of high-strength, magnetic alloys.
Coercive Force The demagnetising force corresponding to zero magnetic induction in a magnetic material after saturation. Measured in "oersteds" (a CGS unit of magnetising force).
Copper [Cu] - A chemical element with high thermal and electrical conductivity. It is a ductile metal, often used as a conductor or a constituent of various metal alloys. This material is non-magnetic.
Cubing Freight rate calculated on the basis of a cargo's volume, rather than its weight.
Direction of Magnetism The axis through which a product is magnetised. Products may be magnetised axially, diametrically or otherwise (e.g. multipole).
Electromagnet Non-permanent magnets that are created when electric current is passed through a coil that surrounds a soft metal core. The electricity passing through the coil induces a magnetic field. The strength of the field depends on the strength of the electrical current and the number of coils. The polarity is determined by the direction of the current flow, and hence electromagnets can easily be ‘reversed.’
Ferrite A chemical compound of ceramic materials, where iron (Fe) is the main constituent. These magnets are characterised by their large magnetic field and dark, graphite appearance.
Ferrofluid An oily carrier fluid containing nanoscale particles of ferrous material (such as magnetite or hematite). The fluid distorts and takes on new forms when influenced by an external magnetic field.
Ferrous A material that relates to (or contains) iron is said to be 'ferrous'. Magnets can only influence/attract ferrous material.
Gauss A measurement of "magnetic induction" (B), equal to one ten-thousandth of a Tesla. Gauss indicates the number of lines of magnetic flux per square centimetre, under the CGS metric system.
Gold [Au] - A chemical element with a soft, dense physical consistency. It is a metal used widely in electronics due to its maleability and resistance to corrosion. This material is non-magnetic.
Grade In permanent magnets, the grade refers to the materials used in the production process. Material "grades" range from low end (weaker) to high end (stronger).
Hematite A common mineral form of iron ore (ferric oxide), reddish-black in appearance. Hematite may be influenced by magnetic fields, or magnetised itself to support a static magnetic field.
IATA "International Air Transport Association" - the peak industry trade group for air transport, regulating commercial passenger and freight airlines.
Induction Magnetic induction is the magnetic field. When measured, this is the "flux density" (number of magnetic field lines) per unit area of a section.
Iron [Fe] - The most common element on earth (by mass). Magnets require the presence of iron material to enable magnetic attraction.
Isotropic A magnet having the same magnetic characteristics along any axis or direction.
Lanthanide A series of metallic chemical elements ranging with atomic numbers 57 to 71, which includes neodymium (Nd). These fifteen chemicals (plus scandium and yttrium) are often collectively referred to as "rare earth" elements.
Lodestone A naturally magnetized piece of the mineral Magnetite. Its name is derived from the Middle English term meaning "the leading stone", owing to its important role in early navigational compasses.
Magnetite A naturally occuring gray-black magnetic mineral that consists of an oxide of iron. Also known as Lodestone. Name is derived from its place of discovery in ancient Greece (island of Magnesia).
Magnetomotive force A scalar quantity that is a measure of the sources of magnetic flux in a magnetic circuit.
Neodymium [Nd] - A metallic element belonging to the "rare earth" or "Lanthanide" chemical sub-category. This is an essential component used in the manufacture of modern rare earth / neodymium permanent magnets. (Pronounced: "Nee-Yo-Dim-Ee-Yum")
NeoSpheres A magnetic desk-toy containing 216 powerful Neodymium spheres, suitable for ages 14 and above. The tiny magnetic balls can be used to build intricate shapes and structures. NeoSpheres are a fun and unusual gift idea, and provide hours of stimulating entertainment.
Nickel [Ni] - A chemical element with high resistance to oxidation. It is a silvery-white lustrous material, often used for plating metals (such as iron) to prevent corrosion.
Permanent Magnet A material or object that produces a magnetic field, and is resistant to external demagnetisation. Permanent magnets create their own persistent, unsupported magnetic field (as opposed to an electromagnet).
Pole Magnetic Poles are the surfaces from which the invisible lines of magnetic flux emanate and connect on return to the magnet.
Pull Strength The weight (in metric units) required to remove a magnet from industry-standard 3mm thick mild steel. These "strengths" are measured using mathematical calculations, and should be used as a general guide only.
Rare Earth A common name for neodymium permanent magnets. The name is derived from the "Rare Earths" sub-category on the periodic table of elements (to which the neodymium chemical belongs).
Remanence The magnetic "induction" (field) which remains in a magnetic circuit after the removal of an applied magnetomotive force. If there is an air gap in the magnetic circuit, the remanence will be less than the residual induction.
Samarium [Sm] - A hard, silvery element which oxidizes easily when exposed to air. This material has a high temperature threshold, and is used in high grade rare earth magnets.
Silver [Ag] - A chemical element with high thermal and electrical conductivity. It is a ductile metal, often used as a conductor or a constituent of various metal alloys. This material is non-magnetic.
Strontium [Sr] - A chemical element with high chemical reactivity. It is a soft, silver-white alkaline metal used in the production of Ferrite magnets, which gives it a higher rate of magnetic coercivity.
Temporary Magnet A material (usually iron or soft steel) that shows magnetic properties only while exposed to an external magnetic field. Temporary magnets retain only a very small field after the active power of the external magnet is removed.
Zinc [Zn] - A chemical element with high resistance to oxidation. It is a silvery-white lustrous metal, often used for galvanizing materials (such as steel) to prevent corrosion, or as an alloy.
Zirconium [Zr] - A lustrous, gray-white, strong transition metal that resembles titanium. Zr is commonly used as an alloying element, due to its high resistance to corrosion.