Magnetic Materials : Classifications, Types and Important Terms

On Jan 21, 2013 by Sunil Saharan At 4:31 PM | | 0 comments »
Magnetic materials are one of the most important ingredients of Electrical Engineering system. Without these materials one can't not even think about electrical engineering and its processes. In current article I'll discuss basics of magnetic materials and their classification.

Magnetic materials : What they are ?

If you are an engineering student then one term you must have heard independent of your discipline or branch is "Magnetic Materials". The concept of magnetic material is very simple. A material that shows a response toward a magnetic field is called a magnetic material independent of the direction of response whether it be positive (attractive in nature) or negative (repulsive in nature). These materials are either attracted or repelled by a magnetic field and as a result of this force these materials convert themselves into small magnets and hence they got their name Magnetic materials. Iron, Nickel and Cobalt are some of very common examples of magnetic materials used in our daily life.

Classifications of Magnetic Materials

Now when we have learned the concept of magnetic materials it becomes easy for us to classify them on various basis. As any particular type of material can be classified according to various point of view of properties, magnetic materials may also be classified on various basis but there are two very common basis of classification of magnetic material. These are :
  1. Classification on Behavior in a Magnetic Field
  2. Classification on the basis of Hysteresis Loop

On Account of Behavior in a Magnetic Field

Behavior in a magnetic field refers to the response of a magnetic material when placed in a magnetic field. On this basis there are two three type of magnetic materials :
  1. Diamagnetic Materials : If a material is slightly repelled by a magnetic field, the material is known as diamagnetic material. These materials have relative permeability less than 1 and are slightly magnetized in the direction opposite to that of applied magnetic field. Some common example of such behavior are Zinc, Silver, Copper etc.
  2. Paramagnetic Materials :If a material is slightly attracted by a magnetic field, the material is known as paramagnetic material. These materials have relative permeability slightly greater than 1 and are slightly magnetized in the direction same as that of applied magnetic field. Some common example of such behavior are Tin, Platinum etc.
  3. Ferromagnetic Materials :If a material is strongly attracted by a magnetic field, the material is known as ferromagnetic material. These materials have relative permeability very high and are very strongly magnetized in the direction same as that of applied magnetic field. Some common example of such behavior are Iron, Steel, Nickel and Cobalt etc.

On Account of Hysteresis Loop

There is another method of classification of magnetic materials and that is on the basis of hysteresis loop or more specific on the area of hysteresis loop. Hysteresis loop is a name given to the curve drawn between B (Induced magnetic field) and H (Applied magnetic force).
On this basis of classification magnetic materials are of two type :
  1. Soft Magnetic Materials : Those materials which can be magnetized easily are called soft magnetic materials. These have a sharp hysteresis loop with small hysteresis loss area.
  2. Hard Magnetic Materials :These are materials which have a large hysteresis loop with large hysteresis losses. In such materials the hysteresis curve is gradually rising
I hope this information on magnetic materials will be helpful for you. Keep visiting and keep reading this site for more such study material.
Have a Nice Day.

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