Frequently Asked Questions

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Health and Safety

Magnet Basics

Technical Information

Performance

Health and Safety

Which are the best magnets kids can use?

Parents, teachers or guardians must watch over kids, they must always be supervised when they play or experiment with magnets. Neodymium magnets are really strong so caution is required. If you suspect your child has swallowed a magnet it is important to seek the attention of a doctor immediately.

 

Can a magnet adversely affect my smartphone?

Many experts claim small to medium sized magnets does not have any unwanted effects on your smartphone or tablets. Most of devices, especially smart phones and computers, have small magnets inside of them to perform specific functions. However, since large magnets have such a strong magnetic field it is advised to keep them away from your devices.

Are people using a pacemaker safe using magnets?

Pacemakers respond to magnetic fields in different ways and depending on the manufacturers and therefore, people with cardiac pacemakers should not put strong magnets near their chest.

How about my wrist watch?
If your watch contains any iron or various metal materials small mechanical parts can be magnetized when you place your watch too close to a neodymium Magnet. When the mechanical parts are magnetized they can attract to each other making the watch run slow, fast or to stop completely.

Many watches  today are made of materials that are ‘non-magnetic’ and are therefore resistant to weak magnetic fields. If you wear a watch it is always advised to be especially careful and keep away from strong magnetic fields.

Magnet Basics

What does a magnetic pole mean?

When magnets are broken to two parts, each piece will have a north and south pole. No matter how small the magnet piece is, it always has a north and a south pole. Irrespective of some claims you may see on the internet, nothing exists like a magnetic monopole.

How are the poles identified?

There are numerous ways to depict the poles of a magnet, the simplest method is to use a compass, a digital pole or analog identifier. If you want, you might use a smartphone – just download the virtual pole tester app, which identifies the polarity of the magnetic area which is pointing directly at your mobile phone.

Are they really ‘rare’ if they are called ‘rare earth magnets’?

Despite their name, rare Earth elements are not rare, but relatively abundant in the Earth. The reason they are called ‘rare Earth’ is because they are generally not found in economically exploitable deposits, but are often dispersed.

Which of the poles are most commonly used?

Both the north and the south pole of a magnet are equal in current retention and both will adhere to the magnetic material, such as steel and iron.

What is the best way I can see a magnetic field?

There are many methods used by science enthusiasts alike to see the magnetic field. One of which is a very simple, cost-effective method which is the iron powder and filing method. Simply place the magnet underneath the paper, spray the iron filings on the top and this will clearly reveal the magnetic field of any magnet.

What is the meaning of the “N” rating e.g. N45

There are various types of neodymium available commercially from N35 to N55, along with other variations of high temperature. For example, a neodymium magnet N35 has a product maximum energy of 35 Mega Gauss Oersted (MGOe) and N55 will have a maximum energy product of 55 Mega Gauss Oersted.

Is it safe to use adhesives to fix magnets?

Of course, most magnets around can be bonded with two-component epoxy adhesive.

Araldite Rapid is recommended, it sets hard in around 5 minutes. You may also want to try Loctite industrial strength adhesive, which has a setting time that is very similar.

Is it possible to cut a magnet?

It is advised never try to cut or drill a magnet because they are hard and brittle due to the production process (with the exception of flexible magnets). You have to drill or cut with diamond tipped tools with a large amount of coolant since the powder is flammable.

Technical

How are magnets made?

Various types of permanent magnets are made in different ways, but each includes a process of casting, pressing, sintering, compression bonding, injection moulding, extrusion and calendaring to ensure quality and strength of every individual magnet.

How do these magnets work?

There are many explanations to this question, but one of the most profound ones relate to the magnet’s atomic structure. All ferromagnetic materials produce a magnetic field which is very weak. This is generated by the electrons which surround the nuclei of its atoms. These group of atoms are oriented in the same direction and each of these groups are known as a single magnetic domain.

Is it possible to block/shield magnetic fields?

The magnetic fields penetrate through plastics, aluminum, wood, and even lead just as if it were not there. No material blocks magnetism. Metals that are ferrous, such as iron, nickel or steel can help conduct magnetic fields and magnetism. All magnetic fields search for the shortest route from north to south and a piece of steel can provide a link that makes the journey from north to south far much easier to flow than through the air

What are the differences between anisotropic and isotropic magnet

A magnet is known as anisotropic when all it’s individual atomic magnetic domains are aligned in the same direction, whereas an isotropic magnet can only be magnetised in the direction of adjustment (along with its magnetic axis) during manufacture. Any Attempts made to magnetise the magnet in any different direction does not give rise to magnetism.

I want to stack my magnets - does it make them stronger?

When using two magnets at the same time, it would be as using the two as a single magnet of their total size. For example, if you stacked two magnets of 10mm x 5mm diameter, it creates a magnet diameter of 10mm x 10mm, which doubles the strength of the magnets and pull.

Performance

How possible is it to increase the strength of my magnet?

Once a magnet is completely magnetized, one cannot make it any more powerful since it is already completely ‘saturated’. Adding one magnet to another, such as stacking them, would mean the stacked magnets work as a large magnet and exercise a stronger magnetic power. However, individual magnets cannot be enhanced further

How durable are neodymium magnets?

Permanent magnets are known to retain their magnetism for many years when maintained and used in optimal working conditions. For example, it is estimated that a neodymium magnet loses 5% of its magnetism for every 100 years.

Which of the magnetic points have the strongest pull?

A magnetic field is generated by each magnet and is always the same in each pole. The magnetic force is equally strong in both the North and South poles.

What are the factors that reduce the performance of my magnets?
The following factors are responsible for the reduction of the power of a magnet

  • Steel thickness
  • Air gap
  • Material
  • Temperature
  • Brute force