The three primary metal elements that are attracted to magnets are iron, nickel and cobalt. These are also the metals used to create most magnets, although some more powerful magnets use rare-earth elements, such as gadolinium or neodymium.Continue Reading
All materials have tiny internal magnetic fields called domains, but in these three ferromagnetic metals, the internal magnetic domains are uniformly aligned to give them a magnetic field. In all other elements, the internal magnets are either randomly oriented or cancel each other out, which is why these other metals don't have a magnetic field.
The ferromagnetic metals are often combined with other metals to create alloys, which also have magnetic properties. For instance, steel is an alloy made from iron that is magnetic, although not to the same degree as pure iron.
Most magnets are made from one of these three metals, which is then heated until the metal reaches its specific Curie temperature. The Curie temperature is the specific temperature at which a ferromagnetic metal takes on the properties of a magnet. If the material is only heated to the exact Curie temperature, the magnetic effects are only temporary. The magnetic properties can be made more permanent by heating the metal up beyond this temperature.Learn more about Magnetism
Using an existing magnet, you can magnetize everyday household items that contain iron, cobalt or nickel, which are metals that exhibit the property of ferromagnetism. Ferromagnetism is a subatomic property of some metals created by the structure of the electron clouds around the atoms. When the electrons of the metals align in a particular way, the metal produces a magnetic field.Full Answer >
Cobalt is a ferromagnetic metal element. Commercially, it is combined with nickel and aluminum to produce an alloy called alnico, which is used to construct strong permanent magnets. Cobalt maintains its ferromagnetic properties up to 2,012 degrees Fahrenheit, which is greater than other materials, such as samarium cobalt.Full Answer >
Iron is magnetic except when heated to the Curie point. The Curie point, which is sometimes called the Curie Temperature, is the temperature at which some magnetic materials undergo a major change in their structure.Full Answer >
Based on magnetic properties, there are three major types of magnets: permanent, temporary and electromagnets. Permanent magnets retain their magnetism once magnetized while temporary magnets only exhibit magnetic properties whenever they come within range of a magnetic field, and only for a short period. Electromagnets are magnets that only display magnetic properties when current passes through their core.Full Answer >