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Select Magnet Materials Among SmCo, Neodymium Magnets and Others

Posted on May 25, 2017

Armstrong Neodymium Magnets

When choosing a magnet material to be incorporated into your specific application, their properties need to be identified and compared to correctly evaluate their functional workability and economic feasibility. Design engineers should consider the magnetic requirement, physical requirement, working temperature range, product cost and manufacturing lead time. There is a list of commercially available permanent magnet materials to choose from: neodymium magnets, samarium cobalt, alnico, ceramic and flexible. Let take a quick look at their difference.

Table: Key properties comparisons among the magnet materials

Material Max. Available Remanence, Br (KGs) Max Energy Products, (BH)max (MGOe) Max Intrinsic Coercivity, Hci (Oe) Maximum Working Temp Machinability Index $ Index /Weight $ Index /BHmax Special Characters
Neodymium, NdFeB (sintered) 14.8 53 35,000 220°C /428°F 50% 40% 16% Can be easily corroded and need plating, Brittle, Strongest
SmCo 11 30 25,000 350°C /662°F 70% 100% 64% Very Brittle, Good magnetic property
Alnico 13.5 9 2,050 550°C /1022°F 100% 32% 100% Withstand high temp, corrosion resistant
Ceramic 3.85 3.5 3,050 450°C /842°F 50% 5% 13% Hard, Brittle
Flexible 1.7 2 3,000 100°C /212°F 10% 3% 20% Like rubber, Can be easily cut using simple cutting tools
  • Remanence, or residual induction, is how strong a magnet can be.
  • Max. Energy Product is the maximum amount of magnetic energy stored in a magnet.
  • Intrinsic Coercivity Force is the irreversibility of magnetization by external magnetizing field.
  • Neodymium magnets are the strongest with highest resistance to demagnetization. However, it can be easily corroded or oxidized with high content of iron and almost always require plating.
  • If the operating temperature is close to the recommended working temperature for a specific material and grade, be extra cautious that the magnet would not be permanently demagnetized.
  • Price index shown above is only a general guideline. Material cost is also dependent on magnet grade, order volume, magnetization orientation, size and shape complexity.
  • Production lead time is dependent on the shape complexity and size of magnet, especially if the magnets are highly brittle. Molds are often required to be made first.
Above is only a quick reference. For more details on the properties of each material and available grades, please refer to our individual magnet material overview or contact our technical team at