Chemistry. Chemical element with the symbol Nd. It is an element of the group of lanthanoids and rare earth metals. Its natural occurrence as ore is a combination with other elements, mostly other lanthanoids. Neodymium was isolated for the first time by Carl F. Auer von Welsbach in 1885. Pure metallic neodymium is produced since 1925.
The toxic heavy metal Neodymium has a silvery-white color, quickly tarnishes and is oxidated in air. Neodymium powder is self-inflammable in contact with air.
Very strong magnets, like the ones used in MRI-scanners or as lifting magnets, are produced from an alloy of neodymium, iron and boron, Nd2Fe14B. Neodymium magnets can also be found in computer hard discs (for the positioning of the read-/write heads) and in many household appliances. Neodymium magnets are brittle and break easily. Therefore they are mostly covered with a surface shielding.