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


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


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


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



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.



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.



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/






Temperature and Magnetism: Knowing Your Operating Temperature Matters

Selecting a magnet involves many factors, not the least of which is the temperature at which it will be used.  Understanding the relationship between temperature and magnetism for each type of magnet helps ensure the correct magnet for high heat application is selected.Image illustrating how temperature and magnetism are related

When discussing temperature and magnetism, there are two ranges to be aware of: the Maximum Operating Temperature and the Curie Temperature. These are different for each magnet material, as well as the size and shape of a magnet.

The Maximum Operating Temperature refers to the temperature at which a magnet begins to lose its strength if further heated. This loss of strength may only be minimal, less than 10 percent, when the magnet returns to an ambient temperature.  This is referred to as reversible demagnetization.

The Curie Temperature pertains to the temperature at which a magnet loses all its magnetization.  It’s at this temperature that a magnet has irreversible loss. That means it will have little strength left, but could in theory be remagnetized. Permanent losses occur at very high temperatures and the material structure is typically altered.

Magnet Type Maximum Operating Temperature Curie Temperature

Grade 35, 38, 40, 42, 45, 48, 52

Grade 30H


176 F



593.6 F

626 F

Samarium Cobalt

Grade 18, 20

Grade 24,26


482 F

572 F


1382 F

1517 F


Grade 5 (cast/sintered)

Grade 8 (cast/sintered)


975 F

1020 F


1580 F

1508 F


Grade 1, 5, 8


400 F


842 F

Flexible 212 F

Each magnetic material has different characteristics and their maximum operating temperatures and curie temperatures are an excellent example of those differences.

Determining the best magnet for your high-heat application involves more than just a table or chart.  Taking into consideration what type of material the magnet is attached to (another magnet, a steel plate or housing), the length of time magnet heated (is it flash heated or baked), and temperature cycling.  When it comes to temperature and magnetism, all of these factors influence the type of magnet selected for high heat application.

Each magnet has its own temperature specifications.  For specific information on Maximum Operating Temperature and Curie Temperature for a specific magnet and your unique application, please contact our sales staff.


Unique Magnetic P.O.P. Displays

If P.O.P. magnets conjure up images of white magnetic hooks holding ceiling signs or basic sign holding bases, you aren’t alone.  While those are the work horses of the P.O.P. magnetic industry, we found some more unique magnetic P.O.P. displays that cast magnetic displays in a more exciting light.

Get your creative juices flowing with these examples:


Magnetic Suspension

If you’ve walked into a sporting goods store, then you’ve seen racks of oddly shaped items precariously stacked or haphazardly stored. One athletic equipment manufacturer created a unique magnetic P.O.P. display to feature its product by suspending it magnetically.   In this case, the top of the display holds a small magnet.  It attracts a metal ball which simply snaps into the top of the hockey stick.  Customers and staff simply pull the stick away from the magnet to get a better look at the product.



Match the Retailer’s Brand

Unique magnetic P.O.P displays used to display knives

It’s likely you’ve seen knife and tool holders, but maybe not as a product display.  For this retailer of high-end chef products, displaying knives on a magnetic tool holder made sense, but the traditional metal look didn’t quite match up with the retailer’s image.  So they took the concept one step further by creating their own magnetic knife holders by wrapping magnet blocks in fabric and mounting them to a display case.  The end result is an attractive merchandise display that accurately conveys the atmosphere of the store.



 Easy Accessibility Using magnets creatively in a POP display

Of course, providing customers with the ability to sample or test products is an excellent way to increase sales.  Some products can be challenging to present to customers in a visually appealing manner, while keeping the product accessible.  This prominent personal product retailer incorporates magnets embedded in their samplers.  The result is a clean, simple display that lets customers touch and smell their product.  As an added bonus, testers are easily returned to their original locations keeping the display looking as beautiful as it smells.



In all these examples, there are two repeating themes.  First, simplicity.  Magnets are inherently simple to use, so both customers and staff understand how to work the display.  No instructions, manuals or training are needed.  Second, visual appeal.  Magnets allow designers to match store décor and corporate branding. If you can’t see the magnet, well that just might be the point. Because the magnet can be hidden, the display isn’t the focus and can almost disappear.  The emphasis stays on the product.


Once you start looking, unique magnetic P.O.P. displays and merchandising pop up in surprisingly creative places.  Where have you seen one lately?

How to Separate Magnets

One of the most fascinating things about magnets is their incredible strength.  It can also be the source of frustration for anyone who has ever gotten their magnets stuck together.  Of course large magnets for tool holding appear strong, but even small rare earth magnets can prove surprisingly difficult to separate.  How to separate magnets depends largely on the strength of the magnet.


Separating magnets relies on a few simple principles – create an air gap and slide don’t pull.  Often our neodymium magnets come with a plastic or heavy cardboard spacer between them.  It’s helpful to keep these for future storage.  As a rule of thumb, the stronger the magnet, the thicker the spacer should be.  Spacers simply provide a non-attracting surface for the magnets making it easy to pull them apart.

Separate magnets with neodymium magnets with spacers

Neodymium magnets often have plastic spacers, like this, to help the magnets easily slide apart.


The Slide

The easiest method to separating magnets is to slide them apart. When separating magnets keep in mind shear force.  Magnets are measured on pull strength, so are up to five times easier to move if they are pushed apart instead of pulled apart.  Small magnets slide relatively easily, even without spacers.  Use two hands for slightly larger magnets or magnets without spacers.



The Edge

Separating magnets on the edge of desk

Push strong magnets apart using the edge of a table or desk.

Stronger magnets need a little leverage to introduce a gap. Utilize the edge of table or desk by positioning the magnets where they are joined and then carefully pushing the magnets apart.  Be sure to quickly separate the magnets and store far enough away from each other to prevent jumping and avoid pinching fingers.





The Wedge

Some magnets are very difficult and dangerous to separate.  In order to separate magnets with a very strong pull strength, users often make non-magnetic aides to wedge and pry stuck magnets apart.   Wooden jigs or wedges are the most common and useful tool.  They are easily made and customized to the exact size needed.  In most cases, separating magnets with a wedge takes two people.  It’s the safest way to ensure the magnets don’t jump back at each other.


When separating magnets of any size, take care to avoid pinching, smashing or crushing fingers. We recommend wearing gloves and safety glasses.  Magnets are brittle and chip easily.  If they accidentally snap together, it is common for them chip or even shatter.  And of course, once separated, store separately.

Do you have tip on how to separate magnets? Share it with us in the comments below and help someone out of a sticky situation!

Getting Organized with Magnetic Tool Holders

Got the urge to organize? Get a handle on your clutter? Reign in the chaos?  If this is your mission, one creative way master the mess is to organize with magnetic tool holders.

Image of getting organized with magnetic tool holders and gardening toolsIf magnetic tool holders conjure up images of screwdrivers hanging on a strip above a workbench, you’re not wrong.  That’s a great place to start.  After all 40 years ago, magnetic tool holders were the first product Master Magnetics manufactured.  Garages and workbenches all around North America have gained order and tidiness from these 13 and 24 inch strips of magnetic organization.

And they are pretty handy at organizing screwdrivers, wrenches and other small hand tools.  But with 20 pounds of pull per inch, they can easily handle other heavier, larger garden items like shovels, picks and hoes. Putting away tools has never been so fast.


Not Just For Organizing Tools


Thinking beyond the garage, magnetic tool holders can be useful items in the indoor organizational struggle.  When taken into the kitchen, magnetic tool holders can easily keep knives and other utensils at hands’ reach.  Or use them to store spices when cabinet and counter space is minimal.  Simply hang on the side of the refrigerator, under the cabinet or inside a cabinet door and attach spices using metal canisters.  Magnetic mount versions of the tool holder easily attach to any metal surface without tools.


Ever creative, crafters can creatively organize with magnetic tool holders and help corral those small items and embellishments that seem to pile up everywhere in a crafters space.  By using tins, metal containers and jars with metal lids as small, uniform storage areas they easily attach to magnetic holders.  As a bonus, install the tool holder where it will be seen, allowing items to be used. And it keeps them off of valuable table space.


Image of custom magnetic tool holder

Photo from the Family Handyman.com

In the bathroom, where counter space is at a premium and clutter is seems to multiply like bunnies, mount the small, five inch magnetic tool holder inside a cabinet door to hold those little items like bobby pins, nail clippers, tweezers, and other metal items.  For tiny vanities with next no counter space, the Family Handyman share a tutorial on how to make a custom magnetic holder with Corian and neodymium magnets designed to keep electric toothbrushes stored neatly off the counter.


Find our magnetic tool holders in hardware and home improvement stores across North America.  With eight different traditional styles, there is sure to be one perfect to help organize your project. If you are still unsure which to choose, please contact us for more information!

Shipping Magnets: Understanding the Rules

Shipping magnets safely might be a little more complicated than you realize.  In today’s age of instant gratification, there are still a few times that our products just can’t be shipped by air for overnight delivery. Graphic image of shipping magnets by air

Because of their ability to interfere with the navigation and electronic equipment on planes, many industrial magnets, magnetic assemblies and strong rare earth magnets cannot be shipped via air.

Whenever possible we prefer to ship magnets by ground transportation, because magnets shipped via air will be classified as Dangerous Goods if not properly packed to block their magnetism.  Additionally, many carriers will not accept magnets for air shipments.

There are few guidelines that dictate how magnets are packaged and what is deemed safe to ship by air.

The Rules for Shipping Magnets

Magnets and magnetic devices can be shipped by air if the following criteria are met:

  • “For carriage by aircraft, any package which has a magnetic field of more than 0.00525 gauss measured at 4.5 m (15 feet) from any surface of the package.”  – Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Dept. of Transportation (PHMSA) rule 173.21 (d). http://phmsa.dot.gov/hazmat
  • If the maximum field strength observed at 7 feet is less than .002 gauss, or there is no significant compass deflection, the package is not restricted as “Magnetized Material” per the FAA and the IATA .

Packing Magnets for Shipping

That can be a lot of magnetic field to block if you consider a magnet with 100 pounds of pull.  In some cases it can be accomplished by shielding the magnets with specially designed covers, by using padding or cardboard shredding, or by creating a steel lined box.  All of these take extra packing time and material, and add to the weight of the shipment.  Additional shipping fees will apply.

As expected, PHMSA and IATA also provide guidelines for packing magnets for air shipments.

  • IATA Packing Instruction 953 states “Magnetized material will be accepted only when:

(a) devices such as magnetrons and light meters have been packed so that the polarities of the individual units oppose one another;

(b) permanent magnets, where possible, have keeper bars installed;

(c) the magnetic field strength at a distance of 4.6 m (15 ft) from any point on the surface of the assembled consignment:

(1) does not exceed 0.418 A/m (0.00525 gauss), or

(2) produces a magnetic compass deflection of 2 degrees or less.

See Packing Instructions 953, IATA – http://www.iata.org/publications/dgr/Pages/index.aspx

  • The FAA and PHMSA both require training and ongoing documentation of training records for employees who package any dangerous goods articles.

Proper documentation and labeling must be provided for any shipment that will be classified as dangerous goods or magnetic materials.   We are experts in shipping magnets and will professionally handle the shipping process, including any documentation preparation.

However, if you plan to re-package or re-ship magnetic materials yourself, be aware that shipping magnets via air classifies them as Dangerous Goods.  As such, proper paperwork and labeling is required. Your carrier can provide you with these documents.

Shipping magnets probably isn’t something you’ve thought about, it’s okay, we do.   If you have questions about how your order will arrive, please contact our sales team for more information.


Additional Resources: