Ferrite magnets, sometimes referred to as ceramic because of their production process, are the least expensive class of permanent magnet materials. The material became commercially available in the mid 1950’s and has since found its way into countless applications including arc shaped magnets for motors, magnetic chucks and magnetic tools.
The raw material – iron oxide – for these magnets is mixed with either strontium or barium and milled down to a fine powdered form. The powder is then mixed with a ceramic binder and magnets are produced through a compression or extrusion molding technique that is followed by a sintering process. The nature of the manufacturing process results in a product that frequently contains imperfections such as cracks, porosity, chips, etc. Fortunately, these imperfections rarely interfere with a magnet’s performance.