The Difference in Neodymium & Ceramic

Written by malachi lloyd green
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The Difference in Neodymium & Ceramic
Magnets come in all shapes and sizes. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Magnets are not all created equal. In fact, magnets are designed in all kinds of shapes and sizes, with varying degrees of power. People use magnets for various purposes, from commercial and recreational use to professional and industrial use. Because of the demand for functional magnets in these varying markets, ceramic and neodymium magnets are necessary.

Magnet Types

Typically, magnets come in two different types: electromagnets and permanent magnets. An electromagnet is quite different from a permanent magnet in that it needs an external source of energy in order to function like a proper magnet. An electromagnet needs electricity to work, while a permanent magnet emits its own magnetic energy. Both magnet types come in different strengths and with different names: ceramic magnets are electromagnets, while neodymium magnets are permanent.

Ceramic Magnets

Ceramic magnets, also known as ferrite magnets, are typically manufactured using a combination of barium and iron. Such magnets are cheaper than neodymium magnets due to the low cost of the materials used to make ceramic magnets. Ceramic magnets can be mass-produced and have the ability to be larger than a neodymium magnet yet still function efficiently. Ceramic magnets are useful for creating objects like radio antennas.

Neodymium Magnets

Neodymium magnets are generally more powerful than ceramic magnets. However, neodymium magnets cost more due to the more expensive materials needed to manufacture them: they require a mixture of iron, neodymium and boron and are magnetised via exposure to a powerful magnetic field. These magnets are used in different ways, such as removing antitheft tags from items in department stores.


Neodymium and ceramic magnets have advantages and disadvantages. Ceramic magnets are cheaper than neodymium magnets due to cheaper manufacturing materials. They can also be created larger than neodymium magnets. In contrast, neodymium magnets have a greater lifespan as it is more difficult for this type of magnet to become demagnetised. Despite this longer lifespan, neodymium magnets are corrosive and must be given a protective coating in order to use them safely.

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