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Neodymium Magnetization Direction

Neodymium rare earth magnets (NdFeb) vary in shape and size, and the different shapes each have their own corresponding magnetization direction options. 

All neodymium magnets have both a south and north pole as shown in the illustrations below. The north pole is indicated in red, and the south pole in indicated in gray.

A magnet is strongest when one of its poles is touching the opposing surface. Having said that, an axially magnetized disc/ring magnet will work best when one of its flat faces is flush against the flat opposite-polarity side of another disc or ring magnet. While this type of magnet works best when its flat side is touching the opposing surface, it doesn’t mean it doesn't have magnetic pull on the sides as well. It just isn't as strong when used that way.

Becoming familiar with the magnetization direction of your magnets will help you determine which one is best for your project and which way it should be oriented so that it works most effectively.

 

Disc and Cylinder Magnets

Disc magnets can be either axially magnetized or diametrically magnetized. Axially magnetized disc magnets have the north and south poles on the large flat surfaces. Diametrically magnetized disc magnets have the north and south poles on the rounded sides.

Axially Magnetized

Axially Magnetized Disc Magnet  

Example: D12X18N42-30PK

Diametrically Magnetized

Diametrically Magnetized Disc Magnet  

Example: D14X12N52-DM-20PK



Block Magnets

Block magnet dimensions are always shown on totalElement as Length x Width x Thickness. We define thickness as the dimension which runs along the axis of magnetization. With that said, the last measurement shown is always the direction in which the magnet is magnetized. This is often the smallest measurement, but not in every case. 

Example A below, with measurements of 3/4 x 1/2 x 1/4 inch (length x width x thickness), would have the axis of magnetization running through the 1/4 inch dimension.

Example B below shows a block with measurements of 3/8 x 1/4 x 1 inch (width x length x thickness). The large dimension (thickness) in this case is the axis of magnetization and is therefore listed last.

Magnetized thru Thickness

Example A

Magnetized thru Thickness Block Magnet

Example: B34X12X14N42-10PK
Example B

Rare Earth Block Magnet Magnetized thru Thickness
Example: B14X14X1N48-6PK



Ring Magnets

Ring magnets can be either axially magnetized or diametrically magnetized. Axially magnetized ring magnets have the north and south poles on the flat surfaces. Diametrically magnetized ring magnets have the north and south poles on the rounded sides.

Axially Magnetized

Axially Magnetized Ring Magnet  Axially Magnetized Ring Magnet

Example: R12X14X18N52-20PK

Diametrically Magnetized

Diametrically Magnetized Ring Magnet  Diametrically Magnetized Ring Magnet



Sphere Magnets

Neodymium sphere magnets can only be axially magnetized.

Axially Magnetized

Axially Magnetized Sphere Magnet
Example: S38N42-10PK



Arc Magnets

Neodymium arc magnets have four magnetization direction options. 

Magnetized thru Circumference 

Arc Magnetized through Circumference

Magnetized thru Thickness

Arc Magnetized thru Thickness

Magnetized North Outer Face 

Arc Magnet North Outer Face

Magnetized South Outer Face 

Arc Magnet North Inner Face


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