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What is a Ceramic Magnet?

By Ken Black
Updated May 17, 2024
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A ceramic magnet is one of the most popular materials, or group of materials, by which magnets are made. There are a number of advantages to using a ceramic magnet, including costs. However, there are also some disadvantages to the magnet. In some cases, they may not be suitable for all projects.

A ceramic magnet, or ferrite magnet, is made using powdered magnetic materials, such as iron oxide and strontium carbonate. In most cases, they are hard and brittle. However, the powdered materials used can be applied to flexible fabric, which makes them ideal for many home uses. Even so, home uses, such as in decorative magnets, are only the beginning of their usefulness.

A ceramic magnet is made by combining the two main materials. These are melted down to the point where they stick to each other. This process is called sintering. Once that happens, the material is cooled, pressed into a certain shape, dried and then sintered one more time.

Types of ceramic magnets include those referred to as soft ferrites and hard ferrites. It should be noted that despite the terms, this has nothing to do with the materials themselves. Rather, this has to do with the intensity of the magnetic field required to de-magnetize the material so that it has no magnet effects. A hard ferrite will require a more intensive magnetic field to accomplish this.

Ceramic magnet benefits include longevity and cost. The magnets tend to retain their magnetic properties for a very long time and are therefore referred to as permanent magnets. The materials used to make the magnets are abundant and cheap. The manufacturing process is easy and mass-produces the magnets, further bringing down the costs. These two features have only worked to increase the popularity of this type of magnet.

Uses of ceramic magnets run the gambit from the mundane to the technical. They are used as speaker magnets, in motors and even in MRI machines. The versatility of the magnet and its ability to keep itself magnetized is very important in all of these applications.

Despite all the benefits, there are some disadvantages to the magnets as well. Due to the fact they are mass produced, ceramic magnet shapes are very limited. Most commonly, they come in blocks, discs and rings. In other cases, the magnetic properties may need to be turned off once in a while. This cannot be done with ceramic magnets.

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Discussion Comments
By popcorn — On Nov 25, 2011

Can anyone tell me where the best place is to buy ceramic magnets?

I am looking for large magnets so I can mount some wooden coat hooks that I crafted in our garage. As the walls I want to use are metal, I want to avoid drilling into the surface. I don't want to damage the garage walls.

I know that ceramic magnet pickups can be pretty impressive, as they can support a lot of weight. All I have seen in stores so far though are little ceramic magnets that you would expect to see on the back of a fridge magnet.

By manykitties2 — On Nov 24, 2011

@Sara007 - If you are working with anything more than a printable sticker I would stick with the ceramic bar magnets, as they are one of the strongest magnets you can buy for household use. I personally think ceramic craft magnets are the best you can buy.

One of the things I like to make are magnetic photo frames, as they are great for displaying photos on the refrigerator and on the whiteboard we have. If you are working with the no-bake clay it is actually a great material for making frames. If you're interested you can find lots of design ideas online. My kids love the jungle theme frames I made for them a little while ago.

By Sara007 — On Nov 23, 2011

If you are thinking about making magnets as a craft project, do you think that buying ceramic ring magnets for backing your art is a good idea?

When I took my kids to the craft store we found magnetic sheets that were flexible and easy to cut, and the more solid small ceramic block magnets.

While I imagine that the magnetic sheets would be great for odd shapes, I feel like the magnetic ceramic is sturdier.

As far as the magnets we're making go, we're using no-bake clay to create the shapes we want and we'll be painting them. I think because of the weight we may need to get a sturdy magnet.

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