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The history of neodymium magnet

A neodymium magnet (also known as NdFeB, NIB, or Neo magnet), the most widely-used type of rare-earth magnet, is a permanent magnet made from an alloy of neodymium, iron, and boron to form the Nd2Fe14B tetragonal crystalline structure. Developed in 1982 by General Motors and Sumitomo Special Metals, neodymium magnets are the strongest type of permanent magnet made. They have replaced other types of magnet in the many applications in modern products that require strong permanent magnets, such as motors in cordless tools, hard disk drives, and magnetic fasteners.Neodymium Magnets (aka Neo, NdFeB, or rare earth magnets) are the strongest magnets in the world. They are made of a mixture of neodymium, iron, and boron. High levels of iron in neo magnets leave them vulnerable to rust and so they are usually plated with nickel. They used to be used primarily in computer hard drives (which still use up 50% of all neo magnets manufactured today), however they have also proved to be very useful in many renewable energy applications.
Neodymium (atomic weight 60) was discovered by an Austrian scientist named Baron Carl Auer von Welsbach, in 1885. The neodymium magnet compound was simultaneously formulated by Sumitomo Special Metals, General Motors Corporation, and The China Academy of Sciences, in 1982. The cost of the permanent magnet, Samarium Cobalt (SmCo), that was developed earlier was too high, and there was a need to find an economic magnet, which lead to the discovery of neodymium magnet. The manufacturing technique of all the three companies differed from each other. General Motors manufactured neodymium magnets in powder bonded form, while Sumitomo manufactured them in sintered form.

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