What Are The Uses Of An Industrial Magnet?

People deal with magnets every day, from houses to various commercial and industrial settings. Magnets come in different types—and industrial magnets are not your ordinary magnets. An industrial magnet is an essential tool in many industries, especially for simplifying work processes. Also, investing in high-quality industrial magnets help promote greater productivity and a safer workplace. 

industry magnet

In this article, you will learn the different uses of an industrial magnet. This will also serve as your guide in choosing the best ones at your disposal. 

Types of Industrial Magnets

The different materials and functions of industrial magnets include the following:

  • Industrial Neodymium Magnets: Neodymium magnets are demagnetization-resistant and possess a strong magnetic attraction. However, this type of industrial magnet cannot be used at very high-temperature applications without needing an additional coating. Industrial neodymium magnets are available for purchase at industrial stores, such as https://magnetized.com. They also come in different forms, such as hoist lifting magnets.
  • Samarium Cobalt Industrial Magnets: Unlike neodymium industrial magnets, samarium cobalt industrial magnets can be used up to 250 degrees Celsius. They are resistant to corrosion because they don’t contain iron trace elements. Also, this type of magnet is expensive to manufacture because of the cobalt’s high production cost. However, cobalt magnets are worth the investment because it generates a high magnetic field. Samarium cobalt industrial magnets are used in high operating temperatures, including manufacturing motors, generators, pump couplings, and sensors. 
  • Alnico Industrial Magnets: They are permanent magnets made up of a good combination of aluminum (Al), nickel (Ni), and cobalt (Co). Alnico industrial magnets may also include titanium, copper, and iron. As compared to cobalt samarium magnets, alnico magnets are more heat-resistant. They can withstand up to a temperature of 525-degree Celsius. Since they are highly sensitive, they are also easier to demagnetize.
  • Electromagnets: The magnetic field of electromagnets are adjustable and can be turned off completely.

Uses of Industrial Magnets

Magnets are used in different industries for various purposes. Additionally, most of the appliances people use daily are manufactured using magnets. Below are the uses of an industrial magnet in various settings: 

Lifting Applications

Industrial lifting magnets or hoist magnets are designed to lift sheet steel, iron plate, iron castings, among others. Lifting magnets used in manufacturing companies are high-powered magnetic devices that allow workers to handle heavy objects with ease. The lifting magnet is placed over the object and the magnet is activated to hold the object and easily transfer it to the preferred location.

Here are the advantages of using industrial lifting magnets:

  • Lower Risk of Musculoskeletal Disorders: Millions of people suffer from pulled muscles and back pain due to improper and excessive lifting of heavy objects. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) stated that 33 percent of workplace injuries are musculoskeletal disorders. The use of industrial lifting magnets helps manufacturing workers protect themselves from musculoskeletal-related injuries, eliminating the need to physically carry and lift heavy objects.
  • Improve Productivity: Hoist magnets improve productivity in manufacturing companies. Since lifting and carrying heavy objects manually can be time-consuming and physically-draining for workers, their productivity is also severely affected. This can hurt the company’s profits. Automating lifting processes using hoist magnets can solve such challenges.

Proper Warehouse Management

Two of the most common warehousing mistakes are loading and unloading mismanagement and unsuitable machinery and equipment. A dock is a danger-prone area in a warehouse. This is also where heavyweight objects are being loaded and unloaded. Anything can go wrong without the use of proper tools and equipment. Miscalculations might happen—causing injury to the workers and damaging the goods. 

If you want to improve work efficiency, it’s important to invest in the proper tools and equipment for the job, including an industrial magnet. Hoist magnets are used in loading and unloading heavy objects in docks. Thus, investing in the right tools such as industrial magnets can help promote better warehouse management.

Separating Gold From Metal

Industrial magnets are commonly used to separate gold from other metals. Gold particles can be collected using neodymium or NdFeB magnets. This means that no chemical treatment is required, since this usually causes different hazard problems.

Heterogenous particles, including graphite, gold, bismuth, and rock-forming minerals, can be separated into different materials using NdFeB magnetic plates. This approach is portable and affordable—which also provides a research breakthrough in medical and industrial fields. Therefore, explorations and extraction of gold and rare earth materials can be done without producing impurities and hazards. 

Separating Rare Earth Metals

Chemicals are usually used to separate mixtures of elements of rare earth metals, wherein an acid solution is added to an organic compound. The chemical reaction makes individual metal ions shift from the acidic phase into the organic phase based on the chemical properties of the metal. However, the problem is that rare earth metals have the same chemical properties when it comes to solubility and chemical reaction. 

A new study highlights a novel approach in the purification of rare earth metals, making up crucial technological components. Rare earth metals can be efficiently separated during crystallization by utilizing magnetic fields.

Let’s delve deeper into the details of the said study:

  • Researchers try to find ways to use magnets, specifically paramagnetism (slight external magnetic field attraction that induces internal magnetic field), to separate rare earth elements. However, previous efforts had not found effective ways to combine paramagnetism and a chemical reaction.
  • The significant discovery in this study was the combination of a magnetic field and a decrease in temperature, which caused the crystallization of metal ions at various rates. 
  • This approach can selectively and efficiently separate heavy rare earth metals such as ytterbium and terbium from lighter metals, like neodymium and lanthanum. 

Hence, magnetic fields can now be utilized as an efficient approach in separating rare earth metals without much harm to manpower and the environment. 

Manufacturing Device Or Machine Components

Industrial magnets, particularly neodymium magnets, are used in manufacturing device or machine components, including the following:

  • Audio Equipment: Microphones, speakers, headphones, and other audio equipment use magnets. Mobile electromagnetic coils are suspended near fixed magnets. The coil is pushed using an electric current and charge. Meanwhile, the magnet is attracted and repelled, causing amplified vibrations. Alnico speakers are made of alnico magnets and are considered the best speakers for playing mellow rock, jazz, and blues.
  • Musical Instruments: Electric guitar pickups, other musical instruments, and musical accessories use magnets, particularly alnico alloys, which are known for great electric conductivity.
  • Computer: Permanent magnets are used in computers. Moreover, Neodymium magnets are important in manufacturing hard drives, CD driver heads, floppy disks, and hard disks. Because of magnetism, data storage in hard drives is possible. The disk’s surface is coated with a magnetic material consisting of billions of tiny magnets.
  • Electric Fan: Cooling fans use magnetism to induce motion when electricity is applied. This is because a cooling fan’s motor contains magnets.

Automotive Applications

Magnets are widely used in automotive applications. They hold different automobile components together during vehicle manufacturing and parts assembly—from car doors and steering wheels to sophisticated systems like sensors. Automotive magnets are also used in lifting bulky engines during repairs. 

Ferrite or ceramic magnets make vehicles safer to operate, especially on a vehicle’s Anti-lock Braking System (ABS). This feature slows the car down, allowing you to steer away and avoid accidents. Also, magnets are used in the automobile locking system, windshield wipers, and seat belt indicators. They promote safe driving during heavy rains. Moreover, such feature helps car owners remember to put the seat-belt on before driving.

Health And Wellness 

Magnets are also very useful in the health and wellness sector. They play a vital role in manufacturing diagnostic devices and various therapies, including the following:

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): This diagnostic procedure incorporates the principle of magnetism, which is crucial in the early diagnosis of disease. MRI interacts with the body in varying levels, thus, affecting each atom of the body. The electrically-charged particles or electrons are captured using MRI to create an image of the body part being examined. 
  • Magnotherapy: During this holistic therapy, the patient’s body is subjected to a magnetic field. Magnotherapy aims to relieve pain, improve blood flow, and promote better health and wellness.
  • Other Medical Uses: The other medical applications of magnets include dental applications, maxillofacial applications, drug delivery systems, and orthopedics, particularly bone fracture healing.

Other Applications

Industrial magnets are also used in the food industry, marine, aerospace, and military applications. Additionally, magnets are used in making business signages, DIY craft hangers, and even in levitation, such as drones and flying toys. Also, magnets are used in organizing things at home, offices and commercial settings.

Conclusion

As you can glean from this article, there are many uses of industrial magnets. These magnets are used in separating gold from rare earth metals and other types of metals. Also, they are used to remove iron particles during production in the pharmaceutical industry. In manufacturing companies, hoist magnets automate lifting processes to help reduce health and safety risks in the workplace and improve productivity. Finally, industrial magnets are used in electronics, motor manufacturing, and other industrial devices.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.