Magnets are used in a variety of ways throughout many industrial segments. Various materials are used to generate magnetic fields. These include ceramic, rare earth materials, and the materials included in electromagnets. Magnets have a pair of poles, generally designated a north pole and a south pole. An electromagnet has a stator core on which an operation coil is wound, and a movable core faced with the stator core via a gap. When the stator core is energized, the movable core is attracted to the stator core travels the length of the gap. Electromagnets can produce quite large magnetic fields by driving electrical current through a coil of electrically conductive wire. However, the size and expense of such electromagnets, as well as power supply requirements and heat dissipation problems, make electromagnets unattractive for applications requiring an intense magnetic field in a physically small space. Rare earth permanent magnets have been widely used in the field of electrical and electronic apparatus utilizing their excellent magnetic characteristics and also from economical reasons. A rare-earth magnet is produced by pulverizing a magnetic alloy into powder, pressing or compacting the alloy powder in a magnetic field and then subjecting the pressed compact to a sintering process and an aging treatment. Owing to their magnetic properties and economy, rare earth permanent magnets are utilized in many areas of electric and electronic equipment. The production of rare earth permanent magnets is rapidly increasing in these years. As compared with rare earth cobalt magnets, rare earth permanent magnets are advantageous in that neodymium as the predominant element is present in more plenty than samarium, the raw material cost is low and their magnetic properties substantially surpass those of rare earth cobalt magnets. The performance of a permanent magnet depends on the magnet itself and the environment in which it operates.
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