has strong magnetic properties, resists corrosion and breaking and retains its magnetism at temperatures up to 1,580 degrees Fahrenheit. Alnico also resists losing its magnetism when hit or dropped. You'll see alnico used for magnets that can use its combination of toughness and magnetic strength, such as electric motors, speakers and classroom use.
For educational purposes, alnico is formed into familiar magnet shapes such as bars and horseshoes to easily identify the magnet's poles. Science educators use alnico magnets to demonstrate magnetic properties such as attraction, repulsion and polarity. Alnico stands up to the repeated rough handling that happens in classroom settings.
A loudspeaker consists of a fixed magnet and a wire coil that rides on the back of a paper diaphragm. When electric currents flow through the coil, magnetic attraction causes the cone to vibrate in and out, producing sound. Speaker companies, especially those that make guitar amplifiers, have favored alnico for its smooth, strong response at high levels of power. Generally, stronger magnets make a better-sounding speaker.
Many electric motors use permanent magnets. In a motor, electricity in coils produces a magnetic field that spins a magnet on a rotor. Motors must work reliably for years under stressful conditions such as heat, vibration and moisture. Alnico magnets are physically well-suited to these kinds of environments.
Like a speaker, a microphone uses a coil and a permanent magnet to handle sound. In this case, the diaphragm is compact and the microphone converts sound to electrical signals. Microphone makers use alnico magnets where a combination of magnetic strength and relatively low cost give it an advantage.