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Understanding the Properties and Applications of NdFeB Magnets | Everything You Need to Know

The Characteristics of NdFeB Magnets include requiring a protective coating/surface finish to minimize the effects of corrosion. Iron within the structure can ‘rust’ which causes a permanent structural change in NdFeB, resulting in a permanent weakening of the magnetic performance – the worst-case scenario is a total loss of magnetism.

A NdFeB magnet kept in dry conditions will not corrode and will retain its performance theoretically forever (if not subjected to excessive heat, radiation, or strong external magnetic fields). If the conditions are wet, it is recommended that alternative magnets be considered for use so that the magnet design tries to protect the magnet from moisture (e.g. encasing, modified coatings such as zinc plus rubber, etc). The plating/surface finish should be hermetic for best corrosion protection – scratched or damaged surfaces may render the affected region more prone to corrosion.

Marine environments (salt sprays, seawater) are particularly corrosive and far from ideal for NdFeB. In critical applications with unacceptable corrosion and magnet failure, magnets such as ferrite or SmCo may be more suitable. Please note that any claims that a NdFeB magnet will not corrode are misleading. It is claimed that higher Hci magnets resist corrosion better although the empirical results are not so conclusive (a trend suggesting an improvement in corrosion resistance exists but it is not guaranteed). The application and overall design determine how well the magnet will perform in damp environments.


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