The term rare earth magnet is a general term that refers to magnets that are made from alloys of rare earth elements, typically either neodymium iron boron or samarium cobalt. Both of these rare earth alloys are manufactured by a powdered metal process, but the resulting magnets have several distinct differences.
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Some of the differences between neodymium rare earth magnets and samarium cobalt rare earth magnets include:
- Neodymium iron boron rare earth magnets are highly reactive to environmental conditions, whereas samarium cobalt rare earth magnets are very corrosion resistant.
- Samarium cobalt rare earth magnets will withstand high temperatures without demagnetizing, while care must be used when utilizing neodymium above ambient room temperatures.
- Neodymium iron boron rare earth magnets are moderately priced and offer a good value when compared to performance. Samarium cobalt magnets are considerably more expensive due to their cobalt content.
- Neodymium iron boron rare earth magnets are less brittle than samarium cobalt rare earth magnets and are easier to machine and integrate into magnetic assemblies. Both alloys require diamond tooling, EDM, or abrasive grinding when machining.
More information about neodymium rare earth magnets and samarium cobalt rare earth magnets can be found within each material-specific section of this website.