Temperature Affects Magnetic Strength

Does Temperature Affect Magnetic Strength?

Magnets are an essential part of our lives. They keep refrigerator doors closed, hold headphones together, and store information on hard disks. But what happens when one of these magnets gets exposed to extreme temperatures.

Alnico magnetic materials are the least sensitive to temperature changes, though their strength does diminish with each degree Celsius above ambient. However, Alnico magnets still lose some strength with every rise above ambient.

Cold Temperature

Magnets are everywhere in our lives. From hard drives to headphones, refrigerators and more. Understanding how magnets function is critical so we can use them efficiently!

Let’s look at how temperature affects the strength of magnets. Magnets will lose their strength when exposed at high temperatures as the atoms within them no longer align correctly.

This reduces the effectiveness of its magnetic field and its ability to attract metallic elements. By placing the magnet in an environment with extremely cold temperatures, it will regain its alignment and produce another powerful magnetic field.

Temperature has an impact on how easily magnets can be demagnetized; this phenomenon is called coercivity, and as temperature rises it reduces.

Different magnets react differently with temperature. Alnico, for example, is more vulnerable.

Heat can affect magnets’ coercivity, as well as their remanence (the amount magnetism they retain after being heated) as well as their resistance to demagnetization. Neodymium magnets have the highest remanence, but suffer irrecoverable losses when heated at higher temperatures.

A neodymium magnet of average grade operates best within a temperature range between 80 and 90 degrees Celsius. Exceeding this temperature limit can result in irrecoverable performance loss that cannot be recovered. High temperature grades, on the other hand, have higher temperature ratings that allow them to withstand significantly higher temperatures than their predecessors.

Curie temperature is another factor that influences magnet strength. This temperature is the point where materials such as iron no longer magnetise.

At temperatures higher than the Curie Temperature, certain regions (called “domains”) within a magnet can change direction and stop magnetizing; this reduces the magnet’s overall strength.

The “reversible” loss can be corrected by gradually cooling down the magnet to its initial temperature.

Wear gloves to prevent frostbite if you’re working with a neodymium magnetic.

Hot Temperature

Temperature and the composition of a magnet, as well as its exposure to temperature, affect the strength. Temperature has a huge impact on the magnetic properties of a magnet.

As the temperature rises of a ferrite, individual spins will be more likely to face in the opposite direction from their neighbors. This will reduce the overall alignment seen through magnetism. Over time, domain walls – those which divide regions that align along different directions- come loose allowing magnetism to rotate further away from its initial point, leading to less alignment than initially believed.

As the individual spins do not align with each other anymore, their magnetic attraction decreases. This causes the total magnetism and magnet to weaken. Keeping the magnet at a cool temperature (called Curie Temperature) will allow its domains to regain alignment, and it will gain strength.

Due to their higher intrinsic coercivities they are better able to resist demagnetization at extreme temperatures.

There are also different grades of neodymium magnets that have been specifically engineered to withstand applications with temperatures reaching up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit without losing their magnetic performance. These “high-temperature neodymium magnetic materials” have lower heat resistance than standard magnets, but they do not suffer as much reversible loss of field when cooling. They can operate up until that temperature without a loss in performance.

Magnets made of neodymium with a high heat tolerance are recommended for pipelines that are cleaned by steam or in applications where temperatures are constantly high. Additionally, they are also suitable for areas exposed to extreme cold environments.

It is not uncommon for neodymium high heat tolerance magnets to experience reversible magnetic field loss when temperatures increase. Selecting the right neodymium for an application is crucial.


Boiling meats or vegetables is an efficient way to prepare food while maintaining fresh flavour and texture, and in certain types it even keeps vitamins intact.

Boiling occurs when the vapour pressure of a liquid equals the external pressure surrounding it. Higher vapours pressures reduce boiling points, as do higher vapours pressures compared to lower ones.

Steam bubbles form in a pan filled with water. At sea level, normal vapor pressure for water is set at 212degF (100degC); however if warmed to lower temperatures its vapor pressure drops below this threshold.

The French word “boire” or to boil is the origin of the English word “boiling”. This stems from the meaning: transforming liquid into gas phase transition.

When water is in its liquid state, it cannot be magnetically repelled. However, as the polar molecules are heated, they move more rapidly and erratically. This reduces the strength of any magnet, since not all the molecules are facing in one direction.

Temperature can influence strength in another way by the speed at which it heats up. If a substance’s temperature rises too rapidly, its molecules will not move as quickly. This can lead to a misalignment, and possibly further weaken it.

Heating up magnets beyond their Curie temperature can wreak havoc with their magnetic domains and cause permanent magnetic damage that cannot be fixed through re magnetising alone.

Some magnetic materials like Alnico or SmCo are more resistant to heat induced flux degradation. Heat exposure is a major cause of flux degradation in Neodymium-ironboron (NdFeB), magnets. Their magnetic properties will deteriorate over time.

This problem does not occur with certain materials found in hard drives or speakers. Furthermore, certain ferromagnetic materials like iron have an optimum Curie temperature above which they no longer can be magnetized; to make informed choices when it comes to science projects using magnetic materials it’s essential that you know their Curie temperatures before selecting any particular magnetic material for use.


As soon as a magnet is exposed to elevated temperatures, its performance suffers. This is due to the way its material reacts with heat. Whether or not this effect can reversed depends both on type and maximum operating temperatures of magnets. For example, neodymium magnetic materials lose a percentage of their strength for each degree they are above room temperature.

Magnets of different materials are more susceptible to performance degradation than others. Neodymium magnets, for example, suffer greater losses when compared to cobalt and alnico materials.

Chemistry plays a vital part in how this works; when temperature decreases, molecules within magnets vibrate more slowly and less randomly than they do during hotter times, helping align atoms that create its magnetic field.

As temperatures increase, however, random movement becomes more chaotic and less likely to line up in one direction, thus increasing polar molecules’ speed of motion without them all facing in one direction at once. This means that magnets do not always face in the same direction.

A misalignment can cause magnetic domains not to align with each other, and thus reduce the effectiveness of a magnet. Magnetic domains in the center support each other while those at its edges and ends may become subject to their internal field or the external field being reversed by both factors.

Although this performance loss does not impact overall magnetic strength, it may become an issue in certain applications. For instance, when used at temperatures lower than -130degC a neodymium magnet’s maximum operating temperature it begins experiencing a shift in its direction of magnetism that decreases performance by about 15%.

It is best to avoid placing neodymium magnetic materials in hot environments. Instead, they should be divided into sections and stored in the refrigerator or freezer for quick cooling.

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