Permanent Magnets and Electromagnets – Different Magnet Types Feature Different Properties

Neodymium magnets are rare earth magnetsMagnets work in hundreds of applications around you daily.  But depending on the use, the magnet could be a permanent magnet or an electromagnet.  Permanent magnets and electromagnets both possess different characteristics and benefits.

 

Permanent Magnets

As the name suggests, a permanent magnet is any magnetic material whose atoms have been permanently aligned to create a persistent magnetic field.   The magnetizing process occurs during manufacturing.

Permanent magnets can be made of several different materials, including ceramic, alnico, samarium-cobalt, and neodymium.  Neodymium and samarium-cobalt magnets are also classified as rare earth magnets.  These magnets have superior holding strength in comparison to the size of material.

 

Electromagnets

Permanent magnets and electromagnets have different propertiesAlso aptly named, an electromagnet operates based on electricity.  The magnetic force is generated when the electricity is turned on and stops when the electrical current is disconnected.   A simple electromagnet is created by wrapping conductive wire in tight coils around a ferrous core.  Once the wire is hooked to electricity, a magnetic field is created.  The magnetic field stops when the electrical current ceases.

 

Differences Between Permanent Magnets and Electromagnets

On a general level, the difference between permanent magnets and electromagnets comes down to two main points:

  • Loss of properties
  • Magnetic strength

Obviously by definition, permanent magnets expect to retain their magnetic strength perpetually.  With very few exceptions, including exceeding maximum operating temperature, permanent magnets remain magnetized constantly.  However, electromagnets gain or lose their magnetic properties based on the supply of electrical current.

The magnetic strength of permanent magnets largely depends on the material make-up of the magnet.  Their inherent physical structures dictates the maximum amount of strength based on material, size and shape.  It is a fixed number that doesn’t change after magnetization.  Electromagnets, on the other hand, see their strength fluctuate depending on the amount of current supplied.  The same electromagnet can provide multiple magnetic strengths.

What Type of Magnet is It?

Find Permanent Magnets Here:

  • Tools
  • Jewelry Clasps
  • Hybrid Car Motors

Find Electromagnets Here:

  • MRI Machines
  • Electronic Locks
  • AC Motors

Choosing Permanent Magnets

Permanent magnets have the main benefit of operating without a power supply, making them energy efficient. They are easily portable to a variety of locations.  Furthermore, their availability in very small dimensions make them ideal for size-limited applications.

Permanent magnets face limitations in operating temperatures.  This loss of strength in very hot environments make them unsuitable for some applications – or require special cooling.  Their fixed magnetic pull strength can also make them unattractive to users looking for a great deal of flexibility.

 

Choosing Electromagnets

Electromagnets have the main benefit of manipulating their magnetic pull strength – both by turning the magnet on or off and by adjusting the current.   They also feature greater pull strength than permanent magnets.  Some estimates place the largest electromagnet at 20 times stronger than the strongest permanent magnet.

Because significant amounts of coiling is needed to create very strong magnetic fields, their size can be prohibitive to some applications.  Additionally, supplying too much current to the electromagnet can create shorts, rendering the magnet useless until it is recoiled.

This overview of permanent magnets and electromagnets just touches the surface of the complexities these magnetic materials.  Master Magnetic exclusively manufactures and distributes permanent magnets.

 

Our sales team can answer any questions you have about permanent magnets and their unique properties.  Contact us for more information.

 

Flexible Magnetic Sheeting Compatibility Influenced by Two Things

Flexible magnetic sheeting compatibility largely depends on two things: the type of printer and how the sheeting is being used.  Get these things right and achieving quality results when printing direct to magnet increases greatly.

Magnetic sheeting compatibility depends on the type of printer ink

Selecting the right type of magnetic sheeting for your printer is key in achieving quality results. For example, using a magnetic sheeting with a paper top-coat for aqueous ink yields quality prints (above). A vinyl top-coat with the same type of ink creates a blurry, messy image (below).

 

Printer Compatibility

First, when determining magnetic sheeting compatibility, look to see what type of material to use with your printer.  Printer compatibility largely depends on the type of ink used.   PrintMagnetVinyl is a flexible magnetic sheeting with a vinyl coating used with wide-format solvent, eco-solvent, UV, and latex printers.  Magnetic receptive material, FlexIRON, is also compatible with these same printer types.

 

For printers using aqueous inks, select PrintMagnet with a paper topcoat as the compatible option for flexible magnetic sheeting and FlexIRON (PP) for a magnetic receptive choice.

 

Refer to the table for a quick reference of the ink and magnetic sheeting compatibility.

Type of Ink Compatible Material by Brand Name
UV Ink PrintMagnetVinyl, FlexIRON (PET) and FlexIRON (PVC)
Eco-solvent Ink PrintMagnetVinyl, FlexIRON (PET) and FlexIRON (PVC)
Solvent Inks PrintMagnetVinyl, FlexIRON (PET) and FlexIRON (PVC)
Latex Inks PrintMagnetVinyl, FlexIRON (PET) and FlexIRON (PVC)
Screen Printing Inks PrintMagnetVinyl
Aqueous Inks PrintMagnet, FlexIRON (PP)

 

Beyond the ink compatibility, we’ve worked with most major printers to test for quality and compatibility with PrintMagnetVinyl™ and FlexIRON™.  Find a list of printers and more information here.

 

Use Influences Choice

After understanding the type of magnetic sheeting compatible with your printer, the next factor in selecting material is determining where and how it will be used.

 

Major influencing factors include:

  • Material thickness
  • Indoor or outdoor use
  • Size of project

 

The thicker the magnetic sheeting means the stronger the sheeting.  However, that isn’t always the best way to select the thickness needed for your project.   Traditionally vehicle magnets need the strength of 30-mil to adhere securely during high speeds. But promotional items like magnetic calendars only need 15-mil.

 

Projects designed to withstand the outdoor elements of sun, wind and rain clearly require vinyl sheeting for outdoor use.  Alternatively, if printing with aqueous ink on a paper topcoat, laminating the project provides protection from the element.  However, items designed to be used exclusively indoors, like magnetic business cards or P.O.P. signage, simply need material for indoor use.

 

Also, considering the size and scope of your project prior to deciding on the width of material can potentially save you time and money.  Will you gang up your graphics so that a 48-inch roll is just perfect?  Does a 24-inch roll mean less cutting?  Can we provide a custom size to expedite a large project?  Discuss your project with our sales team and see how we can save you time and money.

 

Read more tips about printing direct to magnet here.

 

Our knowledgeable sales team can assist you with determining magnetic sheeting compatibility for your printer and project.  Contact us with questions and samples.

 

 

Exciting New Advances with Magnets Hint at Major Innovations

Magnets have come a long way since ceramic magnets first made their debut in 1952.  In demand for everything from clean energy to technology to manufacturing, magnets today are driving some of the most innovative products for tomorrow.

In the past year we’ve noticed exciting new advances with magnets – and they seem to be everywhere.  Here are a few of the highlights.

 

3D Printing Magnets

3D printed magnets is one of several new advances with magnets

Image Credit: Department of Energy (DOE)

Most recently, researchers from the Vienna University of Technology and scientists at the  Department of Energy’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility successfully 3D printed magnets.

On the rise as a viable manufacturing technology, 3D printing is popular for everything from prototypes to custom production runs.  But in the magnet world, 3D printing points to important possibilities for a few different reasons.

First, 3D printing provides greater control over the arrangement of the magnetic fields. Often sensors require magnetic field lines oriented in strength in very specific arrangements – and 3D printing opens the door for small magnets with very precise orientations.

Second, 3D printing generates much less waste in the ‘manufacturing’ process.  As much as 50 percent material waste can be saved in this process when compared to the traditional method of sintering.  This has particularly valuable implications for the rare earth elements used in neodymium magnets.

Potentially 3D printing opens the door to complex shapes, small custom manufacturing runs and little, or no, tooling costs.

 

Nanomagnets

The use nanomagnets make for exciting advances in many fields

Nanomagnets: This image shows a selective actuation of the side arms of a soft robot in a horizontal uniform magnetic field.  Image credit: Sumeet Mishra, North Carolina State University

If understanding magnets leaves you scratching your head, then nanomagnets are simply mind-blowing.  By definition, a nanomanget is a “submicrometric system that presents spontaneous magnetic order (magnetization) at zero applied magnetic field (remanence).”

Primarily used as ways to transport, attach or manipulate something in conjunction with another magnetic field, nanomagnets have featured heavily in research in biomedical and electronic fields in the past year.

Here are some amazing uses of nanomagnets:

  • Treating cancer cells with targeted hyperthermia (read more)
  • Delivering drugs to cancer cells (read more)
  • Powering computers and electronics with speed (read more)
  • Controlling soft robots (read more)
  • Sensing and testing for certain elements, such as marijuana (read more)

 

NASA-based Magnet Research

ESA's SWARM mission studies the Earth's magnetic field

Magnetosphere:  Additionally, results of ESA’s Swarm mission discovered a molten jet stream related to the Earth’s magnetic field.  Illustration credit: ESA

Both NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) reported results of missions and studies involving the Earth’s magnetic field, or magnetosphere, and how it affects us.

In September, NASA shared findings from the THEMIS mission showing substorms where solar particles disturb the Earth’s magnetic field and create auroras.  NASA shares an amazing animation of this here.

ESA also published results of their missions, including detailed maps of the changes in the Earth’s magnetic field.  SWARM, a mission dedicated to studying our magnetosphere, was launched in 2013. It’s now producing enough data to show changes in the Earth’s magnetic field and the magnetic north pole.

In December, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency launched a magnetic tool aimed at cleaning up space.  With the help of this magnetic tether, astronauts at the International Space Station will be cleaning up the massive amounts of junk in space.

And beyond studying the magnetosphere, NASA recently opened the Magnetic Materials Fabrication and Characterization Lab.  This lab is geared to both the research and production of custom alloy magnetic ribbons.  According to NASA, “Researchers are testing these materials to convert the power generated by solar cells into a form that can be smoothly integrated into the national power grid system and easily managed with little to no electrical variation or disruptions.”

 

Still thinking there’s not much new about magnets?  Hungry for more cutting edge magnetic information?  Then watch for news from the Magnetics 2017 conference in Orlando this week.  Billed as the leading global event focused on the latest technical advancements in the magnetic markets, it won’t disappoint.

Attractive Prevention- Why Choose Cow Magnets

Prevent hardware disease with cow magnetsIf an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, then one cow magnet is certainly worth its weight in, er, steak.  Popular with farmers, ranchers and veterinarians, cow magnets are a well-known method of preventing hardware disease in cattle.

 

About Hardware Disease

The University of Missouri extension office estimates between 55 and 75 percent of cattle in the eastern United States have some type of hardware in their stomachs.

Because cows don’t discriminate when it comes to their food, they easily eat pieces of metal with their feed or when grazing.  The metal makes its way to the cow’s reticulum (or second stomach). Here it can puncture the stomach wall, developing into an infection or damaging other organs.  This is referred to as hardware disease, hardware stomach or, more rarely, tire wire disease.

Also medically known as traumatic reticulo-peritonitis or reticulo-pericarditis (depending on the location), hardware disease causes loss of appetite and decreased milk output in dairy cattle and ability to gain weight in feeder stock.  In some cases, administering a cow magnet might attract the offensive metal and pull it back into the stomach.   But treatment often involves exploratory surgery and antibiotics.  Prevention is key to avoiding hardware disease.

 

Locating the Risk

Decades ago, the primary culprit of hardware disease came from bailing wire.  As bailing wire has fallen out of use for this exact reason, metal still finds its way into feed in the form of roofing nails.  Additionally, bits of fencing wire and other metal ‘junk’ gets chopped up in balers and feed choppers.

Other sources of contamination comes from blades and other parts of machinery wearing out and falling into choppers.  Also accidentally allowing grazing in areas typically prone to litter or junk can lead to digestion of metal.

 

Prevention with Cow Magnets

Choose cow magnets because they work

Simple Attraction: Cow magnets do their job by catching metal items and preventing them from doing damage.

Magnets play two roles in preventing hardware disease.  First, use of heavy duty magnets on feed trucks or conveyors acts as a first line of defense to catch any rogue metal as it passes through the equipment.

Second, many veterinarians recommend cow magnets.  Often given after calves are a year old, cow magnets need only be administered once in the bovine’s lifetime to effectively hold ferromagnetic object in the reticulum.

Since cow magnets act as a preventive measure to hardware disease, they save farmers and ranchers the added expenses of:

  • veterinarian bills,
  • loss of milk output,
  • decreased breeding opportunities and,
  • potential death of the livestock.

 

Master Magnetics provides cow magnets different types, including the patented Ru-Master 5™.  For more information about choosing cow magnets, contact our sales team or click here to purchase online.

 

 

Magnets Make Great Stocking Stuffers

It’s that time of year to make your list and check it twice.  Magnets make great stocking stuffers for that big kid on your list.   Since we know a thing or two about magnets, we’ve put together this list of stocking stuffers sure to please.  And since most of these magnets on our list retail for under $10, they won’t empty the wallet either.

 

Magnetic Base with Attachments

These magnets make great stocking stuffers

Consider this kit the multipurpose tool of magnets. This handy three-in-one kit lets the user choose which attachment to use with the powerful 35 pound pull magnet. The magnetic base with attachment set includes the magnetic round base, a hook, eyebolt, bolt, and three nuts.

MSRP $4.99 ~ Part No. 07596

 

 

Super Magnets

These magnets make great stocking stuffersAptly named, super magnets are the most power magnets available.  Amazingly strong for their size, they possess a variety of uses (plus they look pretty good doing it).  They are perfect for posting notes and pictures on white boards or fridges, are ideal for craft projects and just plain fun to have around.  Pick up a few packages and create your own desk toys – they’ll be hard to put down! {NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN}

MSRP $5.50 ~ Part No. 07045

 

Printable Magnets

These printable photo magnets make great stocking stuffersLet your gift recipient show off their favorite memories by printing their own photo magnets. This 10 pack of glossy printable magnetic sheeting prints photo quality images on inkjet printers.

MSRP $13.00 ~ Part No. 08034

 

 

 

Telescoping Pick- up Magnet

These magnets make great stocking stuffersA telescoping magnet is perfect stocking stuffer for those tinkerers on your list. This pocket-sized tool lengthens to lets the user retrieve small metal items from hard to reach areas.  They’ll be amazed at how much strength it has and all the places they find to use it.

MSRP $6.00 ~ Part No. 07568

 

 

Screwdriver Magnetizer/Demagnetizer –

A great addition to anyone’s tool kit is a screwdriver magnetizer/demagnetizer. Easily magnetize small tools to attract screws and nuts or demagnetize when working near sensitive mechanical or electrical or equipment.

MSRP $3.45 ~ Part No. 07524

 

 

 

Super-Size Stuffers

If you have a big stocking to fill, we suggest these two incredibly useful magnetic gifts.  A clever magnetic bottle opener, the Pop ‘n Catch is fun gift that lets users pop the top on their favorite bottle beverage and catch the cap in one single-handed action. It magnetically mounts for easy portability on any steel surface like grills, metal coolers, tailgates, and refrigerators.

MSRP $24.99 ~ Part No. 07581

 

Or our selection of magnetic and screw mount tool holders lets anyone on your list organize tools, knives and other metal items.  With 30 pounds pull, objects remain securely attached until you remove them.  Plus, they look pretty great too.

MSRP $20.90 ~ Part No. 07576

 

 

If you want to stuff your stocking with these magnets, we recommend gifting them to adults and not children.  We know magnets are fun, but they certainly pose dangers for kids.  These magnets can be found at many local hardware and retail stores throughout North America.  Buy these gifts at our retail partners’ stores or online (find our list of retailers here), or buy the Pop ‘n Catch online here.

 

 

Eight Great Ways to Use Magnets for Marketing Your Company

Calendars are one way to use magnets for marketing

Magnets make a great choice for marketers looking to keep their company name in front of prospects and clients all year round.  Here’s our top eight ways to use magnets for marketing your company.

 

By printing direct to magnet, it’s simple to create customized items that provides value to your customers and is branded with your company information.  Tap into your creative side with magnetic sheeting.  Create vivid graphics that are easily cut by hand or machine.  All of these magnetic items make great giveaways, mailers or handouts.

 

1. Calendars

Everyone needs a calendar, even in our digital world. Magnetic calendars last a full year, keeping your name front and center for twelve months.  Some companies make this a tradition, knowing clients and customers come to expect their annual calendar.

 

2. Sports Schedules

Print sports schedules for a perfect magnet used for marketing

Here in Colorado, we’ve got our Denver Bronco magnet game schedule stuck to the fridge by July – and if we don’t we’re looking around to find one.  But sports schedules can feature college and high school teams too, as well as regional professional teams.  Fans love knowing the game schedule for the season and keep these well after the season ends just to show their team loyalty.  One note, be sure to use approved logos.

3. Emergency Number Locator

Everyone knows to dial 911 – but how many other emergency numbers do you have on hand?  Magnetic Emergency Number Locator cards make excellent giveaways.  Provide some numbers preprinted, such as those to non-emergency fire and police, poison control, local utilities, and local government.  Then leave areas for people to write in other numbers such as doctors, dentist, veterinarian and emergency contacts.

 

4. Conversion Charts and Reference Charts

emergency-card

Providing your customers with a handy conversion chart or reference chart relevant to their daily needs will have real staying power. Depending on your business, magnetic charts can include kitchen conversion charts, metric conversion charts, wine paring guides, planting guidelines, dosage listings, tap and die charts, machinery maintenance how-tos, and much more.  The key comes in creating a useful information for your audience.  Customers keep and use these types of magnets for years.  That’s a lot of mileage for your marketing dollar.

 

5. Support for Causes

printable-magnets-with-a-cause

Have a cause your company is passionate about?  Share and show your support at community and professional events with ribbons.  For example, if breast cancer is a cause your company feels strongly about, donating magnetic pink ribbons at a run or other community event is an authentic method of marketing while supporting a cause.

 

6. Photo frames

Everyone loves to hang photos of their kids, pets, and vacations.  Fridges and files cabinets need magnets to hang photos, so why not give them one to use.  Create a beautiful magnetic frame, even with a small branding, and people will use it.  Or, brand the middle, which will be out to create the frame and leave them with another usable magnet.

 

7. Business Cards

printable-business-cards

Make it easy for customers locate your phone number and website with magnetic business cards.  Clever shapes and unique graphics really make these effective marketing tools stand out.  Doctors’ offices, restaurants, realtors, and other service providers all benefit from this option.

 

8. Car Signs

Magnetic vehicle signs have been around a while for a reason:  they work.  Quickly and easily brand your vehicle when needed and remove when you don’t.  No special tools or installation techniques required.  Less expensive than painting or wrapping a vehicle, four-color vehicle signs look great.  You quite literally get miles of marketing leverage for your dollar with magnetic vehicle signs.

 

Use magnets to market your company with longevity and endless ways to customize your corporate message.  Whether you are saying ‘Thank-You’ or ‘Happy Holidays’, printing direct to magnet provides a great way to package that message.

 

 

Best Types of Magnets for MRO and Warehouse

When it comes to MRO and warehouse management, magnets play a surprising role in keeping things running smoothly.  Here’s a look at the three best types of magnets for MRO and warehouses.

 

Magnetic SignageSign holding magnets for MRO and warehouse use

Quickly glance around any warehouse or manufacturing facility and you’ll see signage – a lot of it.  From wayfinding to shelf labeling to informational, magnetic sign holders help provided durable and repositionable sign holding.   A few areas magnetic signage is particularly useful include:

  • posting checklists, maintenance records and procedural documentation with magnetic document holders and sleeves;
  • labeling racking or call attention to certain areas and traffic flow with channel magnets;
  • identify inventory of shelving and storage areas with magnetic inventory labels for a quick and repositionable solution.

So utilizing magnetic signage efficiently and safely communicates needed, and in many instances required, information, to your manufacturing or warehousing team.

 

Tool Holding and Storage

Another important type of magnets for MRO and warehousing is tool holding and storage. Keeping tools and other items neatly stored and easily accessible has two tangible benefitsrb-tool-storage: decreased expenditures in lost or damaged tools and increased productivity from easily located items.  Magnetic tool holders easily accommodate heavy loads in a variety of styles.

  • Traditional magnetic tool bars line allow the user to keep multiple tools neatly stored in a linear fashion. Durable and very strong, these tool holders suspend 20 pounds per square inch.
  • Magnetic tool holders make ideal organizersIdeal for tooling stations or small areas, round base tool holders grip individual tools and providing dedicated storage for everything from brooms to flashlights to drills. Our newest tool holder features a vinyl-coated ring for storing tools.

When it comes to magnetic tool holders and storage, they are a very versatile type of magnets for MRO.  Don’t overlook their usefulness.

 

Magnetic Sweepers

Avoiding personal injury, property damage and losses due to downtime are just a few reasons magnetic sweepers are used in manufacturing facilities and warehouses across North America.

OSHA lists walking surfaces in their Top 10 Warehouse Violations to Avoid.   Use push-type magnetic floor sweepers to keep aisles clear of metal Magnetic sweepers are one of the best types of magnets for MRO and warehousesdebris.  Available in a range of sizes, these sweepers make quick work of spills and reclaim dropped fasteners from work areas.

In warehouses, keeping aisles free from metal debris can prevent costly damage to forklift tires and avoid scratching and damaging sealed or coated floors.  Hanging sweepers attach to forklifts and trucks to sweep wide areas for regular maintenance.  Additionally, large parking lot areas benefit from tow-behind sweepers to prevent flat tires on company vehicles and delivery trucks.

Magnetic sweepers are one simple way to protect the investment in your capital equipment.

 

These best types of magnets for MRO and warehousing help create opportunity for improvement in organization, safety and workflow.  So with very little change to your current operation, these magnets can generate positive changes in your manufacturing or warehouse setting.

 

 

Achieving the Best Adhesion of Pressure Sensitive Adhesives with Magnetic Sheeting

Using magnetic sheeting or magnetic strip with pre-applied pressure sensitive adhesives (PSAs) brings significant benefits to your project.  Incorporating surface preparation, adhesive selection and good installation techniques provide the best results for PSAs.

Technically applied as a laminate in the factory, PSAs provide a superior bond between the magnetic material and the adhesive.  However, in order to achieve the best possible adhesion between the PSA and the substrate, set yourself up for success by following these best practices.

Steps to using pressure sensitive adhesives with magnetic sheeting

Good surface preparation, adhesive selection and strong installation techniques take the stress out of using pressure sensitive adhesives with magnetic sheeting.

 

Surface Prep

Providing a clean surface is a crucial first step in achieving quality adhesion with your PSA.  Problems with adhesion are frequently traced back to the failure to properly prepare the substrate first.   Always clean the substrate, as PSAs adhere best when the surface is free from contaminates and imperfections.  Accomplish great surface prep by:

  • Removing dust and debris with compressed air or clean, lint-free cloths.
  • Sand down and clean loose paint or flaking surfaces.
  • Wash off dirt with a mild detergent and allow to dry completely, including drywall and painted surfaces.
  • Thoroughly rinse detergents to remove any residual residue.
  • Clean off greasy, oily and waxy areas of any surface- but take care to use clean rags frequently. This avoids unnecessary spreading of the contaminants.

 

Adhesive Selection

Selecting the best type of adhesive for the application largely influences the success of the PSA.  A project used outside in July requires a different adhesive than one used indoors for a sign application.  We supply flexible magnetic material with three types of adhesive: rubber-based, acrylic-based and free film.

In general, rubber-based adhesives, with their flexible and viscous nature, bond very well to a variety of surfaces.  But they have temperature and UV limitations, as well as some chemical surface interactions.  Acrylic-based adhesives typically adhere well to vinyl, metal and some plastics.  They have excellent temperature resistance and durability, however their stiff, low-flow characteristics require experience and best practices to optimize adhesion.  Free film adhesive, with a single bond of adhesive, is a low-cost alternative for applications such as craft and hobby.  It is best suited to light-weight paper substrates.

We also recommend testing a small sample of the material on the prepared substrate to best determine compatibility and see if any other preparation was overlooked.

 

Master Magnetics’ Flexible Magnetic Materials with PSA
Adhesive Laminate
Indoor/Outdoor
Characteristics
Strip
Sheeting
Rubber-based
Indoor
Basic, quality PSA for variety of applications
Yes
Yes
Premium Rubber-based
Indoor
Higher tack adhesive for rougher surface textures
Yes
Yes
Foam Rubber-based
Indoor
Ideal for uneven or porous surfaces that need a flexible profile
Yes
Acrylic-based
Indoor/ Outdoor
Durable and temperature resistant, works with plastics and soft vinyls
Yes
Yes
Foam Acrylic-based
Indoor/ Outdoor
Ideal with textured, porous, and plastic or vinyl substrates
Yes
Free Film
Indoor
Compatible with paper substrates
Yes

 

 

Surface Contact

In order to achieve a quality bond, it is important for the substrate to have as much direct contact as possible with the PSA.  The pressure sensitive adhesives with magnetic sheeting comes pre-applied.  The benefit to this is that the adhesive is bonded or laminated to the magnet.  So the focus turns to achieving the optimal bond with the substrate.  This can best be achieved by:

  • Using firm, even pressure during application. Laminating rollers can help chase out air bubbles and press the adhesive into crevices and bumps.  Let the type of substrate dictate the amount of pressure used. For example, gator board needs less pressure than a textured wall.
  • Warming the material helps soften the adhesive enough to let it easily flow into any textured surfaces. This is particularly useful with acrylic-based adhesives.  It’s important not to overheat the magnet, as it will damage the rubber binding and can demagnetize the material if the temperatures are too hot.
  • Supplementing any gaps or uneven surface areas with foam tape or additional adhesive.  Remember, the overall goal is to keep the entire substrate in contact with PSA.

 

Cure Times

Always allow the magnetic material to fully cure prior to use.  Acrylic-based adhesives, including free film adhesives, need a minimum of 24 hours to cure – longer in extremely humid or warm environments.  Rubber-based adhesives bond immediately, but will reach even greater potential after 24 hours.  This final step directly impacts the success or failure of the PSA.

 

These few simple guidelines for utilizing pressure sensitive adhesives with magnetic sheeting helps result in quality bonds with the substrates.  Typically, our flexible magnetic material with PSA, has the adhesive applied to the magnet’s weak side.  Double magnetized, double laminated, custom cutting and slitting is also available.   Our knowledgeable sales team can assist you with the selection of the right magnet material and adhesive for your project.  Contact us with questions and samples.

Gluing Magnets: Three Tips for Avoiding a Sticking Situation

Gluing magnets doesn't have to be difficult

Gluing magnets can be one sticky situation – and not just literally.  It’s tricky to make sure the magnet stays where it’s attached, not where it’s attracted.  We’ve found when it comes to adhering magnets, there are three key steps to creating a successful bond: preparation, selection and cure time.

 

Preparation

It’s often overlooked, but surface preparation is makes a significant difference in achieving a strong surface bond between a magnet and the adhesive.  Make sure the surface of the magnet is dirt and oil free by wiping it with rubbing alcohol.  Magnets with smooth nickel coatings, like neodymium magnets, typically need some abrasion to improve adhesion.  A quick swipe with a fine grit sand paper does the trick.  Of course, be sure to clean off any residual dust.  Taking a few minutes to prep the magnets can save hours of headaches down the road.

 

Selection

If you’ve been to the store to purchase adhesive recently, then you know the selection can be overwhelming.  But choosing the correct adhesive is critical. There are several excellent options available, and selecting the right adhesive depends on the material you are affixing the magnet to.

For most surfaces, such as metal and wood, the typical strong adhesives such as two-part epoxies, Loctite, Liquid Nails, Super Glue, and Gorilla Glue all work well.

For craft projects with light-weight magnets, double-sided tape and Glue Dots hold just fine.  Low temp hot glue can be used with ceramic magnets – but not with neodymium magnets.  The temperature of the glue can lower the strength of those magnets.

Plastics pose the most challenging surface to attach a magnet to.  Choose an adhesive specifically designed for plastic.  Both 3M, E6000 and Loctite make excellent choices.

As a point of reference, one of the adhesives we use on our neodymium magnets is a Low Surface Energy foam tape from 3M, making it effective for plastic surfaces.

 

Cure Time

This last step is the hardest – we all want to test our projects or speed up manufacturing, but none of the preparation and gluing matter if you rush right into use.  Giving the adhesive proper time to cure is the last step in ensuring the bond holds tight.  Follow manufacturer directions to determine this time.   Keep in mind that high humidity environments and excessively thick applications of adhesive both slow down cure time.

For our own magnets with adhesive, we recommend 24 hours cure time.

 

Because we understand the importance of adhesive, we offer some of our magnets with a pre-applied adhesive. In our next blog, we’ll delve into details the pre-applied adhesives on our flexible strip and sheeting and how to achieve successful results with these adhesives.

 

Do you have any other tips you’d add? Let us know in the comments below.

Rare Earth Magnets: What Isn’t in a Name

What makes rare earth magnets so rare?  Well nothing really.  It’s the history behind discovery of the rare earth elements that generated the name and two factors are thought to have contributed to this misnomer.

When rare earth elements (REE) were discovered, they were originally thought to be scarce because they are not located in concentrated pockets like other elements – hence the term rare earth.  Fast forward a few decades it’s clear these elements are indeed plentiful, just not often found in concentrations able to be mined economically.  However, last year alone 124,000 tons of REEs were mined, with another 130 million in reserve worldwide*.Rare Earth Elements aren't all that rare

Another reason for the moniker is the perceived difficulty in separating the desired element from the mined ore.  Initial methods of isolating REEs from other minerals frustrated chemists.  While we have a better understand of how to process REEs, mining and processing of REEs can be costly and complicated.

There are 17 rare earth elements, including the 15 elements in lanthanide series and two other elements (Yttrium and Scandium because they are often found with the lanthanides in nature).   Even the least abundant of the REE, thulium, is found with 200 times more abundancy than gold. By contrast, neodymium is nearly as common as tin or zinc.

Found in the Earth’s crust and located in nearly every content and 79 countries, rare earth elements have been actively mined since the 1950s.  But with the recent explosion in demand in the last 20 years, Asia has largely dominated the mining of REEs.  Currently, China is responsible for 95 percent of the production of rare earth materials and more than 35 percent of this is magnetic material.

 

Value in Rare Earth Magnets

Neodymium magnets are rare earth magnetsREEs are valued for their strength, luminescence and – of course- magnetic properties.  The two most common rare earth elements in the magnetic industry are neodymium and samarium.  The term rare earth magnets refers to two types of magnets: neodymium iron boron (NdFeB) and samarium cobalt (SmCo) magnets.  Although, many people use neodymium and rare earth to mean the same thing.  Each type of rare earth magnet has a slightly different attributes, making them suitable for different applications.

In particular, rare earth magnets are touted for their unique strength.  Rare earth magnets were patented by companies looking for a stronger magnetic materials.  Samarium cobalt was first patented by the U.S. Materials Laboratory in 1966 and another in 1972 by Raytheon.   Neodymium magnets were patented in 1983 by General Motors, and it didn’t take long for the rest of the industry to see the value in rare earth magnets.  With their superior strength, the applications are endless.

 

Rare Earth Magnets All Around Us

Today, nearly everything we turn on uses a rare earth magnet.  Cell phones, laptops, tablets and other electronic devices use rare earth magnets.  Rare earth magnets were one factor that allowed manufactures to develop smaller and smaller devices.

Electric and hybrid cars rely on batteries from rare earth compounds.  And industries from manufacturing to medical to environmental also turned to rare earth magnets for their size, strength and reliability.  Manufacturers use rare earth magnets in the manufacturing process for separation, and lifting.

Other common uses include:

  • Audio speakers and headphones
  • Computer disc drives
  • DC motors
  • Fishing reel brakes
  • Guitar pickups
  • Hand tools
  • Linear actuators
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) devices)
  • Satellite systems
  • Servo motors
  • Traveling wave tubes

 

 

Additional References:

* http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/commodity/rare_earths/

http://geology.com/articles/rare-earth-elements/

http://www.rareearthtechalliance.com/What-are-Rare-Earths

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/deposits-rare-earths-elements-natalia-petrovskaya-ph-d-

http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ib112