Magnetism has always been one of the most intriguing and practically pleasing branches of physics. To make it even more interesting, there are ways in which you can create your own magnets. This is easily achieved through interrelating magnetism and electricity using the process of electromagnetic induction. With the right type of metal and the right amount of electric power, you can come up with your own permanent magnet. Here is a clear guide to show you how.
Understanding the magnet
A permanent magnet remains magnetic as a result of its domain patterns and orientation. Domains are nothing but small-scale magnetic fields which are embedded within the chemical framework of the ferromagnetic substances. This substance is said to gain its magnetic property when all its separate domains become aligned in the same direction. This arrangement can be achieved through a wide range of methods, but only a few of them produce a good magnetic strength.
Commercial means of production
Industrially speaking, most permanent magnets are made by heating ferromagnetic substances to a specified temperature. This temperature is subject to change depending upon the material in question because each metal has its own points of aligning and fixing domains. This process is predicted to be the same way natural magnets are made.
Making your own permanent magnets
Though the magnets made through such small-scale projects tend to come off with a compromise strength, it is still very possible to make your own permanent magnets with a bunch of easily accessible items around you. Here are a few such methods you can try.
1. If you have 2 magnets in hand:
This is one of the simplest methods, where you simply have to rub your magnet with the rod you wish to get magnetized. Then, rub your rod with the 2 magnets simultaneously. This should allow you to draw the north pole and south pole of the rods to their respective ends.
Hand the bar or rod vertically and repeatedly hit it with the help of a hammer. This is to strengthen your magnet. For added strength, it is recommended that you subject your item to heat. To finish, expose your rod to a magnetic field with an electric current.
This method allows you to induce a spin on the electrons within your rod, aligning them in the same direction.
2. A proper science experiment:
For this, you will need a rod made of a ferromagnetic material, a large steel nail, a footlong copper wire, and a power source like a battery or small-scale transformers with a low voltage.
Firstly, wrap the wire around the nail, coiling it as tightly as possible. You can also overlap if necessary, as the number of coils is directly related to the strength of the inductive field, which is the major factor affecting the strength of your magnet itself.
Then, simply leave off the ends of the wire and remove an inch of insulation to connect these wires to your chosen power source. Upon proper connection, leave the power switched on for at least a minute, then turn it off. Your rod should be magnetized by now.
You can test your newly created magnet by holding the nail close to some iron fillings, which it should now be able to attract, even with the power turned off.
Increasing the strength
As mentioned earlier, one simple means to increase the strength of the magnetic you make is to increase the number of turns you put in your coil as you wound them around your object. This, however, is not the same when you increase the length of the wire used. This simply increases the resistance, which in turn lowers the current passing through a wire. You can still offset this current loss by altering your voltage by changing your transformer settings or switching out your battery for a bigger one.
The strongest magnets
These magnets, however, can only provide a decent amount of strength, which is far from the strongest magnets on earth. There are certain rare-earth magnets like the neodymium magnet, also called the NIB or NdFeB, which are the strongest magnets in the current market. The magnetic energy value possessed by this rare item is almost 18 times greater than your average ferrite magnets, volume-wise. This high level of magnetism is dependent upon the alloy composition, microstructure, and techniques employed.
To wrap things up, magnets are being enthusiastically used across several platforms and industries around the world. They are now an inevitable part of daily life, as one cannot imagine life without energy and electronic gadgets. That being the case, scientists around the world are now indulging in research and studies which are directed towards discovering new methods to magnetize materials and use them effectively.