A hysteresis loop shows the relationship between the induced magnetic flux density (B) and the magnetizing force (H). It is often referred to as the B-H loop. An example hysteresis loop is shown below.
The loop is generated by measuring the magnetic flux of a ferromagnetic material while the magnetizing force is changed.
Retentivity – A measure of the residual flux density corresponding to the saturation induction of a magnetic material. In other words, it is a material’s ability to retain a certain amount of residual magnetic field when the magnetizing force is removed after achieving saturation. (The value of B at point b on the hysteresis curve.)
Residual Magnetism or Residual Flux – the magnetic flux density that remains in a material when the magnetizing force is zero. Note that residual magnetism and retentivity are the same when the material has been magnetized to the saturation point. However, the level of residual magnetism may be lower than the retentivity value when the magnetizing force did not reach the saturation level.
Coercive Force – The amount of reverse magnetic field which must be applied to a magnetic material to make the magnetic flux return to zero. (The value of H at point c on the hysteresis curve.)
Permeability, m – A property of a material that describes the ease with which a magnetic flux is established in the component.
Reluctance – Is the opposition that a ferromagnetic material shows to the establishment of a magnetic field. Reluctance is analogous to the resistance in an electrical circuit.