Where to find Alnico magnets?
As far as human knowledge goes, to whichever wondrous depths of knowledge that our explorer minds have been to, this planet, Earth, is the only place in the whole universe with the capability to support life in it.
Comparatively this planet is but a speck of dust in contrast to other heavenly bodies or the space between them. Still this blue-green globe contains all the necessary substances to support such flourishing and varied life forms as are found all over the planet. It is the only home humankind has. It is a quintessential Pandora’s Box, concealing riches that have enabled mankind to reach such high levels of progress in everyday life with such rapidity and authority.
With the advent of the Industrial age, human population began to grow exponentially and hence man had to produce or manufacture goods on a very large scale and very fast. Thus the Earth’s natural resources were called into action to supply the materials for building the cities and factories. Earth showered man with riches.
Oil, coal, minerals, expensive stones and metals: everything the Earth could give up was used to alleviate man’s living standard. One such gift is magnets, especially alnico magnets which are the strongest magnets among the non rare earth types.
How to make Alnico Magnets:
Alnico is actually an acronym for aluminium (Al), nickel (Ni) and cobalt (Co). They are iron alloys also containing copper and sometimes titanium. They are mostly used to make permanent magnets. In fact before the development of rare earth magnets in the 1970s, alnico magnets were the strongest type of magnets available.
They have excellent temperature stability, high induction residue and very high magnetic energies. They can be manufactured either by casting or sintering.
Cast magnets can be formed into various shapes, for example horseshoe magnets, which is not possible with any other type of magnets. There is a variation of cast magnets called the cast alnico 5 magnets which are the most of commonly used of all cast magnets and find a very wide range of applications.
Sintered alnicos on the other hand have weaker magnetic properties. Alnico magnets are very hard and brittle. Hence machining or drilling has to be performed with heavy machinery. They also have low coercivity and so are prone to demagnetization if not handled with care.
What are the uses of Alnico magnets?
Alnico magnets, being strong permanent magnets, are used extensively in industrial and consumer applications like electric motors, guitar pickups, microphones, cow magnets, travelling wave tubes etc.
Cast magnets are used mainly in meters, sensing devices, instruments and holding applications. One has to be careful while using them as they are prone to damage. In many areas stronger magnets like the rare earth magnets have superseded alnico magnets.