In modern military applications, the importance of advanced materials cannot be overstated. One such critical material is the samarium cobalt (SmCo) magnet. Compared to neodymium-iron-boron (NdFeB) magnets, samarium cobalt magnets excel in high-temperature environments and are pivotal in various fields including electronics, electrical machinery, and aerospace. Their superior properties make them indispensable, particularly to achieve superiority in the air.

Magnets to Enhance Stealth Capabilities

Achieving and maintaining air supremacy is crucial in modern conflicts. However, military aircraft face significant risks due to enemy radar detection. Traditional radar systems rely on the reflection of electromagnetic waves to detect objects, making aircraft vulnerable during operations. 


This is where samarium cobalt magnets come into play. When used as a coating material on aircraft, SmCo magnets can absorb radar-emitted electromagnetic waves, minimizing reflections. This absorption capability renders aircraft virtually invisible to enemy radar, enhancing their stealth capabilities and significantly increasing their survivability in hostile environments.

Properties and Advantages of Samarium Cobalt Magnets

SmCo magnets exhibit several outstanding characteristics: 

  1. High magnetic energy product: SmCo magnets possess a high magnetic energy product (BHmax), which means they can generate strong magnetic fields.
  2. Temperature performance: These magnets have an exceptionally low temperature coefficient and can operate at temperatures up to 350℃ without losing their magnetic properties. Unlike NdFeB magnets, which degrade at high temperatures, SmCo magnets maintain their performance above 180℃.
  3. Chemical and thermal stability: They exhibit excellent stability in harsh environments, including high corrosion and oxidation resistance, often eliminating the need for protective surface coatings.
  4. Durability: Their ability to withstand extreme temperatures and environmental conditions makes them ideal for military and aerospace applications where reliability is necessary.

Military Applications

In the defense sector, SmCo magnets are used extensively due to their robust properties. Some key applications include:

  • Stealth technology: As mentioned, their ability to absorb radar waves makes them perfect for stealth aircraft coatings.
  • Aerospace components: They are used in various aerospace applications where high-temperature resistance and durability are required.
  • Advanced weapons and equipment: SmCo magnets are integral in the production of advanced military equipment, including guidance systems, communication devices, and sensors.
  • Motors and actuators: Their high magnetic strength and stability make them suitable for high-performance motors and actuators.

Limitations and Considerations

Despite their many advantages, samarium cobalt magnets have a notable drawback: cost. The complex manufacturing process and the use of rare earth elements make these magnets relatively expensive. This cost factor can limit their widespread application, particularly in budget-constrained projects.

Apex Magnets

At Apex Magnets, we offer the latest magnetic technology, offering rare earth magnets — including neodymium and samarium-cobalt magnets — with strength and durability. When the standard options aren’t enough, we also provide customization services to meet your specific needs. When in doubt, our friendly magnet specialists can help you custom-design the product you need most.