Posts belonging to Category Magnets in General

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.

Science Fair Projects Featuring Magnets

Magnets make a fascinating topics for science fair projects,  as well as illustrating many basic principles of science and generating downright fun experiments.

As science fair projects begin in earnest, here is a collection of some of the best science fair projects or experiments involving magnets we’ve seen.


Illustration of the cross-sectiion of what a mag-lev train looks like.

Illustration from Science Buddies.

 1. Magnetic Levitation- Maglev trains have been big news in the past year. Explore the science behind the future of mass transit with basic (or not so basic) magnet levitation experimentation. Simple experiments show how magnets levitate using their repelling force. Science Buddies details a great experiment building a small maglev train. More advanced students can also build propulsion mechanisms with the train, or measure how other variables like temperature, weight and material selection affect the motion.


2.  Electromagnets- Homopolar motors are the simplest electric motors generating rotational movement; and are simple to create with basic components and magnets. In this link, see how to make a simple car using just a basic AA battery, two rare earth magnets and some foil. Other versions of this project include shaping wire to spin, or adding a screw or bolt into the configuration. Regardless of the setup, these experiments are excellent introduction to electromagnets and motors.


Photo of a science fair project or experiement where a magnet is hovering over a bag of cereal and pulling the iron to the top.

Can you stomach this experiment? Photo from Steve Spangler Science.

3.  Eat Iron – This simple experiment is visually amazing, involves searching out iron in ‘iron fortified’ food and might require a strong stomach. Cereals, and other iron-fortified foods, really do have iron added to their recipe, making them healthier for many. In this experiment, dissolving the cereal in water lets students see the exactly how much iron could be consumed as the magnet pulls the element away from the food. Compare types of cereal, breads, pastas, or snack bars. Visit Steve Spangler Science for more information on this experiment.


4.  Lenz’s Law – Explore Lenz’s Law with a stop watch, various thicknesses of copper tubes and magnets. This is a YouTube favorite, and for good reason – it’s a strong visual representation of eddy currents as they relate to a magnetic field. details a basic experiment, which can be expanded to add different materials, thicknesses of materials and strengths of magnets. Watch a video detailing this here.


These experiments can all be done with materials – including the magnets – found at your local hardware store or craft store. In some cases, complete kits are available from educational suppliers. If you’re looking for assistance with types of materials needed, our magnetic products specialists are available to assist.

If you, or your favorite student, has a magnetic science fair project or experiment, share the experience with us!

Magnetic Road Sweepers are the Right Tool for Emergency Access

TYMCO® utilizes Magnet Source® Sweepers for Road Clean-up after Fertilizer Plant Explosion in Texas

There are so many factors involved with providing an effective response to an emergency situation. Having the right tools and equipment is always part of a successful solution.

TYMCO, Inc. is a manufacturer of Regenerative Air Street Sweepers located in Waco, Texas, about 19 miles south of West, Texas. When the fertilizer plant located in West exploded on April 17, 2013, TYMCO volunteered to bring their expertise, equipment and the needed sense of urgency to get the job done right and quickly.

Magnetic road sweepers from Master Magnetics works to clean up road in Texas after the explosion.

“The situation was that emergency vehicles were having difficulty gaining access to the necessary areas because of all the debris scattered across the roads,” said Gary Young, Vice President, Engineering for TYMCO. “The first priority in our cleanup role was to clear the roads of all hazardous debris. We have a large selection of road cleanup equipment to handle any size task. We chose to go with the Magnet Source® 84” and 96” Hanging Magnetic Sweepers because of the need for speed and simplicity. We did not have time to install our larger electrically actuated magnetic sweepers, so we chose to hang these off our big International Trucks and go,” Young explained. (The Magnet Source® brand is a trademark of Master Magnetics, Inc.).

A hanging magnetic road sweeper from Master Magnetics in use.

“Our initial process was to have three to four people walking along with our street sweeper trucks, tossing large-size debris into the street sweeper, and periodically clearing off magnetic sweeper. The magnetic sweeper protected our trucks’ tires so we could proceed with cleaning up the rest of the debris,” Young added.

Hanging magnetic road sweepers are available in widths from 18 to 96 inches from Master Magnetics. The Magnet Source® sweeper product line also includes push-type and trailer-type magnetic sweepers. These magnetic road sweepers are super-powered, permanent magnets for the removal of sharp iron objects from roads, parking areas, loading docks, runways and other important traffic areas. Hang-type magnetic sweepers greatly reduce the possibility of costly flat tires and injuries caused by nails, scrap iron particles, staples, etc. Two eyebolts are installed on each magnet for suspending from vehicles.

Simply hang a magnetic sweeper from your forklift or vehicle bumper and “sweep” all contaminated areas. The sweeper hangs approximately two to four inches off the ground, and maximum operating speed is five mph. To clear collected debris, wipe the face of the magnet with a glove or heavy shop towel. There are also magnetic sweeper models available with quick-release handles for the easiest removal of collected debris.

Unique P.O.P. Display Features Best Selling Magnets at National Hardware Show

Master Magnetics’ Mini Sweeper™ and Pick-Up Pal™ displayed in functional and space-saving design

Master Magnetics, Inc. will feature their two best selling items, the Magnetic Mini Sweeper™ and the Magnetic Pick-Up Pal,™ in a new functional, space-saving end cap display at the upcoming National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, booth 7219.

Sidekick Combo Display

The new metal fixture is an innovative, permanent display for the Mini Sweeper™ and Pick-Up Pal™ that attaches to the end of store gondolas. The durable and long-lasting display comes with attention-getting, four-color, trilingual side panels. The Sidekick Combo Display makes the most efficient use of space on gondola fixtures without full end cap shelving. It’s ideal for stores with limited floor space. The metal fixture holds four Mini Sweepers™ and six Pick-Up Pals™ and mounts centered or to either side on the slotted gondola standard.




The 15” Magnetic Mini-Sweeper™ (MSRP $29.35) and Pick-Up Pal™ (MSRP $23.05) are the ideal lightweight tools for removing hazardous metal debris such as nails, screws, bolts and metal scrap from areas in the garage, home, workshop or outdoors. The Magnetic Pick-Up Pal™, with a pull strength of 65 lbs., is also great for retrieving tools or metal objects from hard-to-reach areas.

Retail-Packaged Magnets

The Magnet Source™ brand is a proven profit center for retail markets with over 250 SKUs, trilingual packaging and customized planograms. The complete line includes retail-packaged magnets for Hardware, Home Improvement, Automotive, Craft, Hobby, Office/School Supplies and Housewares categories. The Magnet Source™ magnets are available at local and national retailers throughout North America.

Pole Shift Forces Airport Makeover


WFLA’s Brooks Garner reports on the pole shift.

Alan Boyle writes: Don’t think of this as another sign of the apocalypse, but Earth’s magnetic north pole has been shifting enough that Tampa’s airport has to repaint the numbers on its runways.

Tampa International Airport in Florida has closed its primary runway until Jan. 13 to change the numeric designations at each end, as well as the signage on taxiways leading to the runway. The Tampa Tribune said the runway had been designated 18R/36L, indicating its alignment along the 180-degree approach from the north and the 360-degree approach from the south. Now the numbers are being revised to read 19R/1L (190 degrees and 10 degrees). Two other runways will be closed later this month for a similar signage change, the Tribune reported.

The changes are required by the Federal Aviation Administration, which wants the numeric designations to reflect magnetic-north headings to the nearest 10-degree increment.
For decades, the magnetic north pole has been migrating from Canadian Arctic territory toward Russia. That shift has accelerated in recent years, and current estimates suggest that the pole is moving at almost 40 miles a year. Maps from Natural Resources Canada chart the movement since 1831 and project the trend through 2050. Movements in the magnetic poles are caused by the motion of molten iron at Earth’s core, which serves as the planet’s magnetic dynamo. Here’s how NASA explains the process.

Airports generally change their runway designations every few decades, depending on how the pole shifts shake out numerically. For example, Stansted Airport in the London area renamed its 23/05 runway as 22/04 in July 2009 to reflect the magnetic shift. “It’ll roughly be another 56 years before we have to consider changing it again,” Trevor Waldock, head of airside operations at Stansted, told the BBC at the time.

A catastrophic pole shift is one of the oft-used plot devices in doomsday tales — and some of the doomsayers have tried to link the phenomenon to the 2012 Maya apocalypse. Earth’s magnetic poles have been known to reverse themselves every 400,000 years or so, in a process that’s outlined in the video above.

This NASA Web page explains that the shift in the magnetic poles, or even a pole reversal, need not be feared. “As far as we know, such a magnetic reversal doesn’t cause any harm to life on Earth,” NASA says. But a lot of runway numbers might need to be repainted.

Can a Magnet Really Make Your Credit Card Not Work?

NOTE: Master Magnetics, Inc. cannot confirm or refute the findings of this article. We simply provide this in the interest of our website viewers.

Written by Cynthia Drake, provided by

Will your credit card become unreadable if it’s exposed to magnets? In a previous story, we said yes, but many of you begged to differ. Seeing that, we took the challenge of clearing things up once and for all.

The result: With the help of a junkyard magnet, a garden–variety refrigerator magnet and a professor with a vast knowledge of magnetics, we were proved right –– eventually.

A highly charged debate ensued after our “How to destroy a credit card” was published in September of 2009. Folks started weighing in on whether magnets –– especially those of the refrigerator persuasion –– actually had the power to strip a stripe. “Running a magnet across the strip will do nothing,” said one commenter on our video at Others chimed in with their own experiences with credit cards and magnets.

So we put our cards to the test against a barrage of different magnets, even heading to the junkyard to swipe stripes with some serious electromagnetic forces.

But before we get to the results, let’s take a step back.

The Mystery of the Stripe

Credit card magnetic stripes carry more than just your precious financial data; they carry some mystery, too. The stripe you see on the back of your card is a collection of magnetic particles –– each a very small magnet about 20 millionths of an inch long. It’s a commonly held belief that exposure of these particles to an external magnet can scramble the information and make the card unreadable.

That’s the theory. But does it really happen? We sought to find out.

Magnets on a Mission

Our experiment began with three different magnets of various strengths:

• A generic refrigerator magnet, similar to the one that’s probably holding up your kid’s artwork in your kitchen.

• A slightly more powerful magnet, which is capable of holding up to 72 pounds.

• A junkyard magnet, which can hold about 7,000 pounds and is also just plain fun to watch in action.

You never know when you’ll just happen to be waving your credit card around in a junkyard.

We swiped three separate cards –– all were tested and functioning properly before the experiment, by the way –– with one of these types of magnets; then took them to a local retailer who ran each card through a credit card machine to test which ones were still readable and which ones weren’t.

Once all preparations were in place, it was time for the big reveal.

Moment of Truth

Up first was the card exposed to the fridge magnet. It turned out that it was still readable by a credit card machine. The second, larger magnet was not, despite multiple swipes. Could we have been on the way to the major scientific breakthrough we’d been hoping for?

Not so fast. It was time to put the third card, the one exposed to the junkyard magnet, to the test –– and surprisingly, the card was still readable. It had survived the most powerful magnet in our arsenal.

This caused considerable confusion. Our initial assumption was that the strength of the magnet would play a role in the demagnetization process. Thus, a wimpy refrigerator magnet wouldn’t have the data–destruction powers of a gigantic junkyard magnet.

We were wrong.

Puzzled, we turned to an expert for answers.

Calling In the Expert

Totally stumped by the fact that just one out of three magnets (the one of medium strength) had rendered a card unreadable, we sought out the guidance of A. Dean Sherry, a chemistry professor at the University of Texas at Dallas.

Sherry is also associate director of the Rogers Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Center and a radiology professor at the university’s Southwestern Medical Center. In other words, he’s got plenty of magnetic experience for our purposes.

He heard us out and politely corrected our assumption about the relationship between the strength of the magnet and its power over the data on the stripe. “The field strength isn’t all that important,” he said. “Even the refrigerator magnet should work eventually.”

So what was the deciding factor? Exposure time.

“It is well known that magnets will wipe out information on credit card stripes,” Sherry said. “However, it doesn’t always happen after one exposure. It may take several exposures for the card to be deactivated, but it will happen eventually.”

Huh. So armed with that information, we decided to replicate the experiment with the refrigerator magnet. We left the magnet exposed to the credit card stripe for several minutes and took a few more swipes for good measure.
Then we took it back to the store and … success. The card’s stripe had been demagnetized.

Not the Only Way to Destroy a Card

The safest, most practical way to destroy your credit card, however, is to cut it into tiny pieces using a shredder or a pair of scissors.

For an extra level of protection (or if you just want to replicate our very cool experiment), you can use a magnet on the stripe. Just be sure to expose it for a significant amount of time –– that goes for heavy–duty junkyard magnets, too.