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List of Metals That Are Attracted to Magnets

Updated February 21, 2017

There are three types of metals that interact with magnetic fields. Ferromagnetic metals are strongly attracted to magnets. Paramagnetic metals are also attracted by a magnetic field, but the force of attraction is significantly weaker. In the presence of a strong magnet, diamagnetic metals induce a weak opposing magnetic field.

Ferromagnetic Metals

Ferromagnetic metals are strongly attracted by a magnetic force. The common ferromagnetic metals are iron, nickel, cobalt, gadolinium, dysprosium and alloys such as steel that contain ferromagnetic metals. Ferromagnetic metals are commonly used to make permanent magnets.

Paramagnetic Materials

Paramagnetic metals are weakly attracted to a magnetic force. The attractive force is about a million times weaker than the force attracting ferromagnetic materials. Copper, aluminium and transitional elements are all paramagnetic metals.

Diamagnetic Materials

Unlike ferromagnetic and paramagnetic metals, diamagnetic metals respond to magnets by inducing an opposing magnetic field. Examples of diamagnetic metals include carbon graphite, gold, silver, lead and bismuth. MRI machines make use of the carbon in human cells by using a large magnet to induce a magnetic field.

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About the Author

Karl Wallulis has been writing since 2010. He has written for the Guide to Online Schools website, covering academic and professional topics for young adults looking at higher-education opportunities. Wallulis holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Whitman College.