screws attracted by a magnet

Which Metals Are Magnetic?

On: Sep 5, 2022
By: TransMetal
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Category: Blog
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There are certain distinctions between different metals. Based on their traits, they’re divided into categories. One of the most vital characteristics of a metal is whether it’s magnetic or not. Some metals are, some aren’t at all and some are to a certain extent. Which ones of them are magnetic and what does it mean exactly? What are magnetic metals used for? Read on and see for yourself.

Common Traits of Magnetic Materials

To find out which metals are magnetic, it’s vital to be aware of what material is magnetic in general. The only material that can be magnetic is metal. The thing is that not every metal and every alloy is going to be magnetic. The one thing that you can be sure of though is that nothing but metals is going to have magnetic properties.

How to find out which metals exactly have these properties? We can name several metals that are magnetic and at the same time are the basis of every magnetic material. The main three are iron, cobalt and nickel, though they aren’t the only ones. They make it possible for magnetic properties to arise in alloys that consist of them. There are also metals that will never be magnetic, among which are silver and gold.

Basics of Magnetisation

What are magnetic materials and how do they work exactly? As stated before, magnetic materials are always metals or alloys with magnetic properties. It means that they’re attracted to magnets or can be magnetised. When a magnetic metal is magnetised, it creates a magnetic field. Not all metals can be magnetised but once a metal gets magnetised it becomes a magnet. There are different types of magnetisation. You can either turn a certain metal into a magnet forever or for a limited amount of time and in a highly specific situation.

The extent to how magnetic a metal can be also varies between different metals. Some are stronger in this field and some weaker. This determines when exactly and what they’re useful for. The characteristics of metals are what sets them apart and what makes them a perfect fit for different machines or other pieces of technology and everyday use.

crane with magnet

Natural Magnetic Metals and Alloys

As mentioned above, some metals are naturally magnetic. They’re nickel, cobalt and iron. They don’t have to be changed in any way to attract other metals, they just do. There are some metals though that normally aren’t magnetic but can be altered to gain such properties. Those metals are called ferromagnetic. Among ferromagnetic metals you can also distinguish two groups of ferrites that differ based on their properties and characteristics. There are soft ferrites and hard ferrites. Hard ferrites are magnetic for a longer time and soft ferrites are magnetic for only a while. But then there are also metals that just aren’t magnetic and will never be, nothing can change that.

The Usefulness of Magnets in Our Daily Life

Steel is a ferromagnetic metal, and it’s one of the stronger ones. Iron is one of the main magnetic metals, which means that it will be attracted to a magnet. Any metal that has iron in it will have the same properties. The force with which a metal is pulled towards a magnet may vary depending on the percentage of magnetic metals in its overall state. The more iron in a specific alloy, the more iron-like properties and with more intensity is going to be shown in this alloy.

Obviously, there are also alloys. Even if a metal is not magnetic, when it becomes mixed with a magnetic one, its traits change, and it becomes magnetic to a certain extent. Magnetic alloys are usually used for products that we use in our daily life. The qualities they have are exactly what’s needed when making products like microphones.

We may not even be thinking about it but magnetic metals are all around us. Even if their magnetic qualities aren’t being used as a primary source of a given object’s usefulness, magnetic metals are still useful in different ways and contribute to creating objects you couldn’t imagine living without.

Magnetic Metal Aftercare

The life of a metal, however, has more steps than that. After it’s been altered in some way and used as a part of something, it’s usually disposed of as it’s served its purpose and is no longer needed. But it’s worth to take a step back and actually consider what the best why to deal with such metals is in order to avoid adding to the issue of the ever-expanding landfills and diminishing resources.

Make sure to dispose of metals, all of them, not only the magnetic ones the right way. They can’t be thrown into a normal bin with the rest of your rubbish. The process of disposing of them is different, and you need to be aware of that. The best and easiest way to get rid of metals is to contact Trans Metal – a scrapyard in London. We know how to deal with scrap metals, and we’ll handle them correctly and consciously.

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