Difference Between Electromagnet and Permanent Magnet

Electromagnets and permanent magnets are the two major types of materials that exhibit magnetic properties. However, the two are majority differentiated on the basis of the generation of the magnetic field. So the main key difference between electromagnet generates a magnetic field when an electric current is provided to it.

Definition of Electromagnet:


Electromagnets are the material that produces a magnetic field as a result of the flow of electric current. These are formed by winding a conductive wire around a soft metallic core.

Definition of Permanent magnet:


A permanent magnet is a hard magnetic material that is magnetized at the time of manufacturing thus its own magnetic field, These do not need external power as their magnetic properties are independent of any external excitation.

The main key difference between the electromagnet and permanent magnet:


  • Electromagnetic properties are magnetic properties that are displayed when current is passed through it, while magnetic properties exist when the material is magnetized.
  • The strength is adjusted depending upon the amount of flow of current, While the strength of permanent magnet depends upon the nature of the material used in its creation.
  • In electromagnetic removal of magnetic properties is temporary, while in a permanent magnet magnetic properties are lost, it becomes useless.
  • Electromagnetic is usually made of soft materials, while in permanent magnetic usually made of hard materials.
  • The polarity of the electromagnetic field can be reversed by changing the direction of current in its coil, While the permanent magnet the polarity of a permanent magnet is fixed and cannot be reversed.
  • Electromagnet requires a continuous supply of electricity to maintain its magnetic field, but in a permanent magnet doesn't require a continuous supply of electricity to maintain its magnetic field.
  • An electromagnet needs copper coupling thus need larger space while permanent magnets have a comparatively compact structure.
  • The poles of this kind of magnet can be altered with the flow of current, while in the pole of permanent magnet type of magnet cannot be changed.
  • The electromagnet can be easily demagnetized by switching off the current, while the permanent magnet can not be easily demagnetized.
  • The electromagnet can produce a very strong magnetic force, while the permanent magnet produce a comparatively weak force of attraction.
  • The cost of an electromagnet is low but permanent magnet are comparatively costlier than electromagnets.
  •  A solenoid winding across an iron core is an example of electromagnetic, while a permanent magnet the bar magnet is an example.
  • For an electromagnet, the strength of magnetic field changes according to the amount of current flowing through the material while in permanent magnet holds the magnetic filed permanently for a very long duration if the magnetic property gets lost then the material is useless.
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