Magnets are objects with a north and south pole, which can attract or repel other magnets. But did you know that not all metals are magnetic? In this blog post, we’ll explain the difference between magnetic and non-magnetic metals so that you can better understand which type of metal is best for your project.
What Causes Magnetism?
The electrons in atoms spin on their axes like tiny magnets. When these spinning electrons line up in the same direction, the electrons create a magnetic field. This means some materials can be attracted to magnets more than others.
Types of Metal
Metals can generally be classified as ferromagnetic or non-ferromagnetic. Ferromagnetic metals contain iron and can be magnetized, while non-ferromagnetic metals do not have iron and cannot be magnetized—a magnet repels them. Common examples of ferromagnetic metals include iron, cobalt, nickel, steel (because it contains iron), and manganese (because it also contains iron). Examples of non-ferromagnetic metals include aluminum, copper, lead, and tin.
Uses for Magnetic Metals
Since ferromagnetic metals contain iron, they can easily be magnetized—so they’re often used in electrical components like motors and generators because they can help generate electricity more efficiently. They’re also often used as parts of machines like loudspeakers because they vibrate easily when an electric current is applied. Additionally, they’re used as protective coatings because they protect against corrosion from salt water or air pollution.
Difference Between Magnetic and Non-Magnetic Metals
- Magnetic metals are those that can be attracted to a magnet, while non-magnetic metals are those that cannot.
- The most common magnetic metals are iron, nickel, and cobalt. The most common non-magnetic metals are aluminum, copper, and lead.
- Magnetic metals are often used in the construction of electrical equipment, as they can be used to create a magnetic field. Non-magnetic metals are not affected by magnetic fields and are not suitable for this purpose.
- Magnetic metals are often used in the construction of motors and generators, as they can be used to create rotational force. Non-magnetic metals cannot be used for this purpose.
- Magnetic metals are often used in constructing speakers and microphones, as they can convert electrical signals into sound waves. Non-magnetic metals cannot be used for this purpose.
- Magnetic materials are often used in the construction of MRI machines, as they can be used to create a strong magnetic field. Non-magnetic materials cannot be used for this purpose.
Magnetic vs. Non-Magnetic metal is an important distinction when selecting the suitable material for your project. Generally speaking, ferromagnetic materials contain iron and can be magnetized, while non-ferromagnetic materials cannot be magnetized — they repel magnets instead. Knowing this distinction will help you select the correct type of metal for your needs — making electrical components or protecting against corrosion from salt water or air pollution!
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