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Types of Magnetic Materials

1. Paramagnetic materials
2. Diamagnetic materials
3. Ferromagnetic materials
a. Soft Ferromagnetic materials
b. Hard Ferromagnetic materials
4. Ferrites
a. Soft Ferrites
b. Hard Ferrites
1. Paramagnetic materials
• The materials which are not strongly attracted to a magnet are known as
paramagnetic material.

• For example: aluminum, tin, magnesium, platinum, chromium etc.

• Their relative permeability is small but positive(slightly greater than 1). For
example: the permeability of aluminum is: 1.00000065.

• Such materials are magnetized only when placed on a super strong magnetic
field and act in the direction of the magnetic field.
2. Diamagnetic materials
• The materials which are repelled by a magnet such as zinc, mercury, lead, sulfur,
copper, silver, bismuth, wood, phosphorus, antimony etc. are known as
diamagnetic materials.

• Their permeability is slightly less than one. For example the relative permeability
of bismuth is 0.00083, copper is 0.000005 and wood is 0.9999995.

• They are slightly magnetized when placed in a very strong magnetic field and act
in the direction opposite to that of applied magnetic field.
3. Ferromagnetic materials
• The materials which are strongly attracted by a magnetic field or
magnet is known as ferromagnetic material.

• They can be easily transformed into magnets.

• for example: iron, steel , nickel, cobalt and their alloys etc.

• The permeability off these materials is very high (ranging up to

several hundred or thousand) 200 to 1000.
a. Soft Ferromagnetic materials
• They have high relative permeability, low coercive force or coercivity(the
resistance of a magnetic material to changes in magnetization, equivalent to
the field intensity necessary to demagnetize the fully magnetized material.),
easily magnetized and demagnetized and have extremely small hysteresis.

• Soft ferromagnetic materials are iron and it’s various alloys with materials like
nickel, cobalt, tungsten and aluminum .

• Ease of magnetization and demagnetization makes them highly suitable for

applications involving changing magnetic flux as in electromagnets, electric
motors, generators, transformers, inductors, telephone receivers, relays etc.
b. Hard Ferromagnetic materials
• They have relatively low permeability(the ability of a magnetic material to support
magnetic field development.), and very high coercive force. These are difficult to
magnetize and demagnetize. They retain high percentage of their magnetization
and have relatively high hysteresis loss

• Hard ferromagnetic materials include cobalt steel and various ferromagnetic alloys
of cobalt, aluminum and nickel.

• They are highly suited for use as permanent magnet as speakers, measuring
instruments etc.
4. Ferrites
• A ferrite is a ceramic material made by mixing and firing large proportions iron oxide
(Fe2O3, rust) blended with small proportions of one or more additional metallic
elements, such as barium, manganese, nickel, and zinc.

• Ferrites are a special group of ferromagnetic materials that occupy an intermediate

position between ferromagnetic and non-ferromagnetic materials. They can easily be
magnetized or attracted to a magnet.

• Ferrites can be divided into two families based on their resistance to being
demagnetized (magnetic coercivity).
a. Soft Ferrites
b. Hard Ferrites
a. Soft ferrites have low coercivity, so they easily change their magnetization, and
act as conductors of magnetic fields.

They are used in the electronics industry to make efficient magnetic cores called ferrite
cores for high-frequency inductors and transformers, and in various microwave

b. Hard ferrites have high coercivity, so are difficult to demagnetize. They are used
to make permanent magnets for refrigerator magnets, loudspeakers, small electric
motors, generators, relays etc.