At Dura Magnetics, we field occasional calls and emails from customers and prospective customers inquiring about a neodymium magnet grade called N52. So what exactly is N52, do you really need it, and what are some of the potential challenges associated with this type of neodymium magnetic alloy?
N52 is shorthand for a neodymium magnet grade with an energy product or BHMax of 52MGOe (MGOe stands for Mega-Gauss Oersteds). Some customers mistakenly specify N52 neodymium magnets due to the material’s high energy product, assuming a stronger magnet grade will yield better performance, but this is not always the case. Although higher energy product material is typically stronger than lower energy product material, the BHMax alone should not be the sole criteria for selecting material grade. In addition to energy product, temperature, magnet geometry, and overall application details are considerations when determining a specific magnetic alloy’s suitability.
Many of our customers are surprised to learn that the performance characteristics of N52 may actually exceed the required application specifications by a significant margin. N52 is one of the most expensive neodymium magnet grades available, and in many instances, a lower grade of neodymium will offer adequate performance at a significantly lower price. Put another way, why pay for the performance of a high-end sports car when a four-door sedan will suffice?
Finally, assuming your application really does require N52, be careful to vet your supplier. The experience of one of our customer’s is case in point: Our customer requested testing of a competitor’s material that was asserted to be 52MGOe. Our analysis revealed the material was equivalent to 33MGOe. The BH Curve image below highlights a non-traditional dip indicative of ‘impurities’ in the magnetic alloy.
Unfortunately, our customer’s recent experience is not an isolated incident. This same story plays out each day as overseas mills cut corners in quality to save cost and distributors lack the resources to analyze the material sent to customers. Often, only a rubber stamped cert from an unlicensed mill stands between the customer and inferior material. This is why we test samples from each shipment and all of our orders arrive with documentation verifying the customer is receiving licensed Neodymium magnet alloys which are traceable to the patent holders. When a customer is in doubt of which material to use or suspects a quality issue, our comprehensive in house testing and analysis allows us to both qualify an existing material type and recommend the most appropriate magnet if one is not in current use.
Do you have questions about selecting the proper grade of Neodymium for your application or require testing to verify you are truly receiving the grade of magnet alloy you are paying for? If so, we can help. To discuss the specifics of your application, request a sample, or learn more about neodymium magnets, contact Dura Magnetics for more information.
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