Once you know all about rare earth magnets, the next question you have would be how safe it is to use outdoors. Though it is beneficial for many purposes in our daily life, let’s see to what extend it can be used outdoors.
As you know, Samarium and Neodymium are the two lanthanide elements used in the making of rare earth magnets. However, they have curie temperatures lower than that of normal room temperature. This is the main reason that makes rare earth magnets not suitable for outdoors. As when exposed, these magnets will undergo demagnetization and loses its strength.
Here are some reasons that explain why rare earth magnets are not fit for outdoors:
- They have low resistance to corrosion. Especially when not coated or plated properly.
- They have comparatively poor mechanical strength.
- Due to very less diameter, they have the ability to cause serious bodily injuries.
Example: NdFeB magnets.
- When kept outside, they are more prone to theft or accidental loss.
- Also, it is difficult to get them back once it is buried in the earth by any chance.
- Exposing to moisture will also weaken the magnet’s strength. It can be in the form of precipitation or humidity in the air.
The most forceful and less expensive rare earth magnets are dFeB magnets. But, they can be easily oxidized.
There are many surface protective treatments including surface plating or coating with metals like Nickel, Zinc, Gold, and Tin. Epoxy resin coating is also a best way to protect the magnet surface from oxidizing and breakage.
The ideal place for these rare magnets is inside. But, if under any circumstances you are compelled to use it outdoors, and then make sure a proper metal coating is done for the magnet and there is no crack or hole for the moisture to enter through and react.
Some of the common applications of rare earth magnets include:
- Audio speakers
- Computer hard drives
- Bicycle dynamos
- Wind turbine generator
- Fishing reel brakes
- Magnetic resonance imaging equipments in hospitals and clinics.
- Helps in the maintenance of product purity, equipment protection, and quality control in industries.
Though these magnets are helpful in above mentioned purposes and many others, if not used safely, it is very dangerous to our life itself. Moreover, it is hazardous to nature as well.
Rare earth magnets are commercially available and can get cheaply when bought in bulk. In online stores also, you can see rare earth magnets for sale. In fact, most people prefer buying it online as it is convenient and less expensive comparatively.
To avoid the negative effects of rare earth magnets, it is important to understand the resistance and strength of each magnet. Each magnet reacts differently when exposed to a temperature that is different from the normal temperature. So, it is you who should decide which magnet work well and which doesn’t for a particular situation.