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Nickel (Ni-Cu-Ni)

Nickel coated magnets are the most common of Neodymium or Rare Earth magnets. The term Nickel Coated Magnet actually refers to three layers in total (Ni-Cu-Ni). Nickel magnets have a layer of nickel, then copper and a final layer of nickel. This serves to encase the magnetic material to create a smooth, shiny finish.
This coating gives conditional protection to the alloy compound inside. Nickel coated magnets are suitable for indoor use and for applications requiring low friction or good response to shear forces. Nickel magnets do not have long term resistance to moisture exposure or marine environments.

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Nickel (Ni-Cu-Ni)

Nickel magnets are fantastic for indoor use. The nickel magnetic coating is ideal for holding applications in low humidity environments such as the home or office. The durable three layer nickel coated magnets provide good abrasion resistance.
Nickel coated Neodymium magnets have become the most popular magnet for fridge magnets and whiteboard magnets. Before Neodymium magnets were as freely available and affordable, Ferrite magnets were the most common magnet used for this purpose. However nickel coated neodymium magnets are far more powerful than Ferrite magnets. They require far less magnetic material to achieve the same strength of hold. The shiny silver appearance of these magnets also means they are visually more appealing than Ferrite magnets.


Nickel is chemically stable with good resistance to rust. Nickel is naturally resistant to oxidation and is therefore an ideal standard coating for Neodymium magnets. It is not well suited as a protective coating from humidity, water, or salt water. Alternative coatings should be considered for these types of applications.
Nickel magnets are afforded some light protection from chipping due to this coating. Neodymium is an extremely brittle form of magnet and may require additional protection for many applications that will cause impact on the magnet. Magnets can be glued into another material or consider purchasing ready made products such as pot magnets.

Nickel is commonly used as the base layer for other coatings including Gold and Epoxy. These coatings are applied as a second or third layer over the top of the Nickel layer. Nickel is a known irritant and is not recommended to be worn in direct contact with skin.

Why do Neodymium magnets need to be coated?

Neodymium is highly reactive to elements such as oxygen and will therefore oxidize and rust. This oxidisation would lead to the breakdown of the magnetic material. Nickel coated magnets and other coatings create a shield between the Neodymium material and the ambient environment.
All neodymium magnets are coated in some sort of protective coating, be it, Gold, Epoxy or Nickel. The coatings are applied in extremely thin layers as to have negligible impact on the magnetic power of the magnet. For more information about the range of coatings available please search in our Knowledge Base page.

Gluing magnets

Nickel coated magnets are often glued into another material such as wood or plastic. If the correct adhesive is used it is possible to do this. Neodymium magnets are powerful and the magnetic hold can break the adhesive hold if a magnet grade adhesive is not used.
We recommend checking the labels of the adhesive products before applying. Customer feedback suggests the following brands of adhesive have provided successful holds however we do not guarantee their effectiveness. Araldite Rapid Adhesive and Loctite Industrial Strength Adhesive.

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The Pull Force listed for each magnet is based on lifting 10mm thick steel from a horizontal surface. Magnets on a vertical surface (of 10mm thick steel) are generally able to hold around only 30% of the pull force listed in the product description. This is due to the effects of gravity and the lack of friction between the surface and the shiny magnet. Read More