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Which magnet coatings are there?

While ferrite magnets are not coated, there is a whole range of different coatings available for neodymium magnets. The by far most common coating is made of nickel. Learn more about this and other types of coatings for neodymium magnets below.
Table of Contents

Neodymium magnets (super magnets)

Neodymium reacts to oxygen and oxidises quickly if untreated. That's why all neodymium magnets in our shop are covered with a protective coating, which is so thin that it doesn't have any impact on the adhesive force of the magnet.
We use the following coatings on our neodymium magnets:

Nickel (Ni-Cu-Ni)

  • By far the most frequently used coating
  • Colour: shiny metallic
  • Good price/performance ratio
  • Thickness: approx. 12 micro metres

Gold-coating (Ni-Cu-Ni-Au)

  • Razor-thin coating (24k) over normal Ni-Cu-Ni coat, but with the same features
  • Colour: shiny metallic
  • Thickness of gold-coating without Ni-Cu-Ni: 0,05 micro metre
  • Thickness of whole coating: approx. 12 micro metres
  • The gold-coating rubs off easily with frequent use. It is therefore suitable for decorative purposes only, not for playing or working.

Chrome (Ni-Cu-Ni-Cr)

  • Better resistance against rubbing and pressure (that's why we use this coating for our sphere magnets)
  • Colour: dull, grey-metallic
  • Thickness: approx. 15 micro metres

Copper (Ni-Cu)

  • Colour: shiny brown-red-gold. The colour may change over time due to oxidation (darkening, spots)!
  • Slightly weaker rubbing and impact resistance than Ni-Cu-Ni
  • Slightly weaker corrosion resistance than als Ni-Cu-Ni
  • Thickness: approx. 10 micro metres
  • The copper-coloured surface rubs off with frequent use (similar to gold-coated magnets) and is therefore suitable for decorative purposes only.

Epoxy resin (Ni-Cu-Ni-Epoxy)

(in exceptional cases also just epoxy)

  • Colour: black
  • Almost 100% non-corrosive, as long as coating is intact
  • Not shock-resistant (crumbles quickly)
  • Thickness: approx. 10 micrometre
  • Even the smallest, not visible to the eye, damages of the coating will cause damage to the magnet in the long term when exposed to moisture.

Zinc (Zn)

  • Colour: matt grey/blueish
  • Only zinc without Ni-Cu-Ni
  • More susceptible to corrosion than Ni-Cu-Ni
  • Can leave black marks
  • Thickness: approx. 4 micrometres

Nickel-zinc (Ni-Cu-Ni-Zn)

  • Colour: matt silver, slightly grey/bluish
  • Ni-Cu-Ni with a layer of zinc
  • Less susceptible to corrosion than Ni-Cu-Ni
  • Thickness: 12–15 micrometres

Non-stick coating (PTFE/PFAS)

  • Grey/anthracite
  • Non-stick coating (PTFE/PFAS) only, without Ni-Cu-Ni
  • Nearly waterproof
  • Very abrasion-resistant
  • Thickness: 12-25 micrometres

Without coating

  • Naked magnet material, black/grey
  • Magnets oxidise and corrode quickly when they come in contact with oxygen and water
  • Magnets need to be covered air- and watertight quickly
  • We do not recommend having uncoated magnets manufactured.

Silver (Ni-Cu-Ni-Ag)

  • Shiny silver
  • Razor-thin coating over regular Ni-Cu-Ni coating, hence the same attributes
  • Difference purely visual
  • Material: Sterling Silver
  • Thickness: approx. 12 micrometres

Please note: There are a variety of other coatings for neodymium magnets that we do not offer in our standard assortment. The pictured coatings are for illustration purposes only. Their proportions do not correspond to reality.

Pot magnets

Our pot magnets, if not otherwise noted, are neodymium magnets with a Ni-Cu-Ni coating. The term "coating" in the product descriptions of pot magnets refers to the steel pot around the magnet. In most cases it is nickel (Ni); for the pot magnets that are painted white, green or black it is nickel with an additional powder coating.

Ferrite magnets

In theory, you could put various coats on ferrite magnets, but that is technically complex and expensive. The price for the coating would be greater than the price for the whole magnet.
Since ferrite magnets are weather-resistant even without protection, an additional coating is not necessary. Our ferrite magnets are therefore uncoated.

Why are magnets coated?

The coating protects neodymium magnets from corrosion. Without the coating, they would oxidise, i.e. rust. Since neodymium magnets are made of extremely brittle material, the coating also serves to protect their surface. The coating, therefore, makes the magnets more resistant.

How do I choose the correct coating?

With the many differently coated magnets in the supermagnete assortment, the choice can be difficult. That is why we are providing you with the table below to assist in your decision. When choosing a magnet, it is not just factors such as adhesive force or dimensions that are key but also the coating. As a general rule, select the coating based on the intended use of the magnets.
Indoors* Humidity Water** Adhesive***
Nickel (Ni-Cu-Ni) Good Okay Bad Good
Gold plating (Ni-Cu-Ni-Au) Good Okay Bad Good
Chrome (Ni-Cu-Ni-Cr) Good Okay Bad Good
Copper (Ni-Cu) Good Okay Bad Good
Epoxy resin (Ni-Cu-Ni-Epoxy) Good Good Okay Good
Zinc (Zn) Good Okay Bad Good
Nickel-zinc (Ni-Cu-Ni-Zn) Good Okay Bad Good
Non-stick coating (PTFE/PFAS) Good Good Okay Bad
Silver (Ni-Cu-Ni-Ag) Good Okay Bad Good
Rubber coating Good Good**** Good***** Okay

* Dry interior areas
** Freshwater
*** Can’t be said in general, as there are adhesives available for a wide range of coatings.
**** Pertains to rubber-coated disc magnets (fully rubberised). Partially rubberised magnet systems are only recommended for short term use in damp environments.
***** Pertains to rubber-coated disc magnets (fully rubberised). Partially rubberised magnet systems are ill-suited for use in water.

Additional information about magnets

In our FAQ pages you can find, among other things, information on these fascinating topics:

If you would like to learn more about the origin of magnets and their history, take a look at our guide page on The History of Magnets for interesting facts on the subject.