When it’s time to buy magnets for whatever application you need them for you have a wide selection of materials and configurations to choose from. The three basic kinds of are permanent stock, flexible, and rare earth. Let’s do a rundown on each of the basic types so that you can have a brief overview of what each is capable of.
Permanent stock magnets are the family which is most commonly used. The most common of all of these is the very familiar alnico in a horseshoe shape. They are also available in rods or cylinders. The alnico is excellent for high temperature applications as its service temperature limit is 525 degrees Celsius. It is difficult to rework as it is hard and brittle. The other type is channel and base assemblies. This is a very broad category that one can certainly use to describe a magnet and a steel cup or channel. They are very versatile in their uses, and excellent at holding and positioning. They will all come with mounting holes that can allow the magnet to be secured by a screw or bolt in a fixed position.
The flexible group are the ones you will be familiar with if you have them on your fridge. They are commonly used for decoration and will have one side laminated in vinyl for printing on. They are available thin enough that they can be put through inkjet printers, while thicker versions are the choice for vehicle signage. They all have the option of being silk screened, die cut, pad printed and hot stamped. Other options can include dry erase, cut to length, high speed kiss-cutting, laminating and punching. A higher energy flexible strip is also available for applications that require a greater strength. These more powerful objects will have all the same options for printing as the regular variety. For more in regards to smco magnets take a look at the web-page.
There are two basic types of rare earth products. The weaker of the two is samarium cobalt. It may be weaker, but it excels in high temperature environments. It is also a more expensive option and is commonly only used when it is required to have a greater resistance to heat sources. They are usually shaped into small blocks and discs, but rings and large blocks are also available. Neodymium is the most powerful magnets available. They are the only choice when maximum energy is required. They are commonly nickel plated to protect their brittle nature and are available in blocks, discs and rings. The maximum service temperature is usually around 125 – 150 degrees Celsius.
Those are the most basic products available today. Other options include tool specific magnets and there are a whole slew of options available for custom jobs. These two magnet types would be best dealt with in their own articles as each has many different variations. If you have needs not met by these basic magnet types you may want to look into the custom options with a reputable dealer the next time you buy magnets.