The materials attracted by a magnet can be magnetised to permanent magnets by the process of magnetisation.
Exposing a piece of iron or a substance to a magnetic field and converting it into a permanent or temporary magnet is magnetisation. Artificial magnets are produced by this method.
Magnetic materials are classified as magnetically hard or soft materials based on magnetisation.
Soft magnetic materials:
If a material can be easily magnetised, then it is a magnetically soft material. For example, iron is a soft magnetic material.
These materials are used in various appliances in daily life.
Hard magnetic materials:
Magnetically hard materials require a strong magnetic field to be magnetised due to their atomic structure. This is because different materials have different atomic structures and behave differently in a magnetic field. An example of magnetic hard materials is Alnico.