What is the Connection Between Magnets and Metals?
Magnets and metal can be seen everywhere and are used in all aspects of life and production. This article will introduce several frequently asked questions about magnets and metals that people care about, including what metals can or cannot attract magnets? Why do magnets attract metal? And what metal are magnets made of?
What Metal Attracts Magnets?
Metals that can be attracted by magnets are mainly ferromagnetic substances.
What are Ferromagnetic Substances?
Ferromagnetic metal is a general term for metals with ferromagnetism. Ferromagnetism refers to the spontaneous magnetization phenomenon of a material (after being magnetized under the action of an external magnetic field, even if the external magnetic field disappears, it can still maintain its magnetized state and become magnetic). Among them, iron is the most widely known.
Ferromagnetic substances include iron, nickel, cobalt, and their alloys. Ferromagnetic substances exhibit strong magnetism in the external magnetic field, and the additional magnetic field generated is very strong, and its direction is also the same as that of the external magnetic field.
What Type of Metal is Not Attracted to Magnets?
Most metals such as gold, silver, aluminum, copper, tin, lead, titanium, etc. are not attracted by magnets.
What are Paramagnetic Substances?
When a paramagnetic substance is in an external magnetic field, it exhibits very weak magnetism, and the direction of the additional magnetic field generated is the same as that of the external magnetic field.
Magnets have a weak attraction to paramagnetic metals, such as manganese and chromium. But this attractive force is about a million times weaker than the force that attracts ferromagnetic materials. Therefore, only very sensitive scientific equipment can measure this weak attraction, which is usually imperceptible.
What is a Diamagnetic Substance?
Diamagnetic substances also exhibit weak magnetism in an external magnetic field, but the additional magnetic field they generate is opposite to the direction of the external field. Such substances are called diamagnetic substances.
Antimagnetic metals also do not attract magnets to each other, they repel magnets, although this force is weak, such as copper, and antimony.
Why Do Magnets Attract Metal?
The attraction of a magnet to metal is determined by the characteristics of the magnet. According to the explanation of atomic current, the magnetic field generated by the current magnetizes other objects, the magnetized object generates an electric field, and the interaction of the electric field generates a force.
Matter is mostly composed of molecules, molecules are composed of atoms, and atoms are composed of nuclei and electrons. Inside an atom, electrons are constantly spinning on their own and orbiting the nucleus. Both of these movements of electrons create magnetism. But in most substances, the electrons move in different directions and are chaotic, and the magnetic effects cancel each other out. Therefore, most substances are not magnetic under normal conditions.
Ferromagnetic substances such as iron, cobalt, nickel, or ferrite are different. The electron spins inside it can be spontaneously arranged in a small range to form a spontaneous magnetization region, which is called a magnetic domain. After the ferromagnetic material is magnetized, the internal magnetic domains are arranged neatly and in the same direction, which strengthens the magnetism and constitutes a magnet. The process of a magnet attracting metal is the magnetization process of the metal. The magnetized metal and the magnet have an attractive force between different polarities, and they are attracted together.
What Metal Are Magnets Made Of?
All magnets are made from a group of ferromagnetic metals. The main raw materials of magnets are rare earth metal neodymium, rare earth metal praseodymium, pure iron, aluminum, boron-iron alloy, and other rare earth raw materials. According to the properties, it can be divided into: SmCo magnets, NdFeB magnets, ferrite magnets, AlNiCo magnets, FeCrCo magnets, etc.
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