At AZ Industries we manufacture all kinds of industrial magnets, and among the most popular are rare earth magnets. Rare earth magnets come in two varieties: neodymium and samarium-cobalt. We’ll discuss what each of these powerful magnets has to offer, but we’ll start you off with a little background about where they come from.
The first thing to know about rare earth magnets is that they are made from rare earth elements – no surprise there. The first thing to know about rare earth elements is that, contrary to their name, they are actually not rare at all. They are quite abundantly scattered throughout the Earth’s crust, however, they earned the designation “rare” by possessing several hard-to-get qualities. Despite being plentiful across the globe (with the exception of radioactive promethium) they are generally not found in large quantities in single locations, and are often bonded with other rare earth metals that are difficult to separate. The majority of the global supply of rare earth elements comes from China, and in fact there is only one rare earth mine here in the United States. It is called Mountain Pass and is located in California’s San Bernadino County.
Neodymium has surpassed samarium-cobalt in popularity due to being lower in cost and higher in strength. So strong, in fact, that neodymium magnets larger than a few cubic centimeters can actually cause injury to body parts that become pinched between two of them! Samarium-cobalt, however, is still the second-strongest magnet available and offers the advantage of being able to withstand much higher temperatures than neodymium. It is also corrosion-resistant so it doesn’t require a coating. All of these qualities make both types of rare earth magnets excellent options for use in industrial environments.
To learn more about our neodymium magnets, click here, and for more information on samarium-cobalt, click here. We also have a huge variety of other industrial magnets and magnetic products, from hand magnets, to base magnets, to flexible magnets, and more – all of which are manufactured right here in Arkansas! If you need help determining which magnet will best suit your needs, contact us! We will be delighted to answer your questions.