Q:

Can metals be non-magnetic?

A:

Quick Answer

Magnetism occurs when iron is present in metals, so metals can be non-magnetic when they don't contain iron. Although some metals are not magnetic, they still hold the properties of metal and are considered as such.

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Full Answer

Non-magnetic metals, or non-ferrous metals, are metals that do not have an appreciable amount of iron in their composition. These metals can be pure metals or combinations of metals, such as gold, aluminum, beryllium, led, magnesium, nickel, platinum, zinc and copper. While people usually associate metals with being magnetic, only metals with iron in their composition are classified as magnetic. Non-ferrous metals are usually more expensive than their ferrous (or iron-based) counterparts. Properties of non-ferrous metals and alloys include high conductivity, lower weight, higher strength, resistance to corrosion and resistance to rust. Even though the non-ferrous metals have no iron, they can still be found as alloys and still be non-ferrous, such as brass. In fact, the first metals used for metallurgy by ancient humans were non-ferrous as they were resistant to the effects of oxygen and can be found in rock outcroppings around the world. Depending on their use, current non-ferrous metals are cast, and then cold or hot wrought by using the rolling, forging or extrusion methods. These metals can be found in everyday applications, such as building materials, electronics, aerospace and household appliances.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Can you give me a list of all the magnetic metals?

    A:

    Iron, nickel, cobalt and manganese are the only four metals considered magnetic. All other metals, including gold, silver and aluminum, are typically considered non-magnetic, although there are some elements that may show a slight positive or negative attraction when placed in a magnetic field.

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  • Q:

    Is iron magnetic?

    A:

    Iron is magnetic except when heated to the Curie point. The Curie point, which is sometimes called the Curie Temperature, is the temperature at which some magnetic materials undergo a major change in their structure.

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    Do magnetic poles attract or repel each other?

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    Unlike magnetic poles attract each other, and like magnetic poles repel each other. Magnets produce a magnetic field that is an area of magnetic force that determines whether the poles are attracted or repulsed.

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    What is magnetic levitation?

    A:

    Magnetic levitation is a method of supporting an object with the repulsive force of magnets and the stability of servomechanisms. The object is thus suspended in the air, counteracting the effects of gravity.

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