Magnets are very “attractive” and interesting elements. One of the earliest natural forces that humans stumbled upon was most probably magnetism, although it has been relatively recent that the dormant potential of the properties of magnetic substances have been realized.
Many electronic devices and gadgets which have become so conventional today employ the marvel of semiconductors which cannot function without their magnetic counterparts. Rumor is that a goatherd from Crete called Magnes was the first to stumble upon lodestone (magnetite) when his iron hook was attracted a stone when he passed by it.
Ferrite Magnets or Ferrites are ceramic materials, compounds of iron, boron and barium or strontium or molybdenum, primarily obtained from iron-oxides such as Hematite (Fe2O3) or Magnetite (Fe3O4) apart from oxides of above metals. They are used to make permanent magnets, ferrite cores (the winding structures in transformers), and for several other applications.
Ferrites similar to most other ceramics are stiff and fragile. A ferrite magnet is the most rudimentary type of magnet, in contrast to more complicated magnets like Alnico magnets or Neodymium magnets (rare-earth magnets, the most powerful permanent magnetic material of which we are currently aware).Ferrite magnets are permanent magnets and also the most common magnets known to us since our childhood days, because they are easily affordable and immensely popular.
The Classification of Ferrite Magnets
Ferrite magnets, or ferromagnetic materials, are classified broadly into two categories on basis of a property called magnetic coercivity, or perseverance of internal magnetism: The two are Hard ferrites and soft ferrites.
The hard/soft reference is not regarding the actual hardness of the materials as they both are brittle in nature but rather their magnetic coercivity. Based on these properties, they can be employed in different applications. For instance, a hard ferrite magnet might be used in a radio or data storage devices.
A soft ferrite magnetic would be used as a transformer core or an electromagnet core. These magnetic variants come in several designs and shapes such as like disc, arc, cylinder, sleeve etc.
They are also fitted in audio speakers, rotary electric motors, hand-cranked magneto generators, wiper motor, dc motor, automobile fans, locomotive fans, and several other electronics components along with industrial assembly lines and load lifting/separating machinery.
The Applications of Ferrite Magnets
Magnets have been very useful and have been utilized in innumerous everyday objects. Many of today’s technological advancements we benefit from nowadays employ magnets in one way or another.
For instance, magnets are transformed into magnetic strips where in information can be stashed. In Video and Audio tapes, sound and images are stored on the magnetic coating of the tape. Keeping these tapes near a strong magnet will destroy the data embedded inside it.
ATM’s, credit and debit cards also employ a strip of magnetic field on its back. This strip houses all the information that is necessary to access one’s bank accounts and personal information in lieu with the card. The technology in Microphones and speakers also require magnets to make them work.
By merging a permanent and an electromagnet, speakers carry the signals that generate a changing magnetic field that directs the shift of the magnetic fields that is accomplished by the permanent magnet. This returning force moves the cone of the speaker which produces the sound.
The microphone applies the same idea but in a reverse manner. Transformers also use them. Then there are the other uses for magnets that can be quite fun and amusing, such as the refrigerator magnets and also its use in the vernacular to explain attraction between two separate entities.