Industrial magnets come in a wide range of types, shapes, sizes and strengths. They are utilized across a diverse spectrum of industries for an equally diverse set of purposes. Particular uses of industrial magnets depend upon particular requirements.
The Magnetic Materials Producers Association (MMPA) and the Magnetic Distributors and Fabrications Associations (MDFA) set the industry standards for magnet production and testing. It is helpful to refer to their publications when selecting magnets for a particular industry. Some commonly used industrial magnets include permanent magnets, electromagnets, ferrite, samarium, rubber magnets, sheet magnets and neodymium.
The industries that regularly use industrial magnets in their operations are the automobile, electronics, plastics, glass and ceramics, shipping, construction, mining, food and pharmaceutical industries. They use magnets to facilitate production and for generating energy. Magnets are also used in implementing industry safeguards.
Magnets may be used in conveyors, plates, assemblies, separators, magnetized pulleys, tube grates, chutes and cranes. Magnets are required to separate ferrous impurities from non-ferrous matter. They separate metals from ore in the mining industry.
In the food and pharmaceutical industry, magnets pick out any iron particles that might have inadvertently mixed with the food or medications. Magnetic sweepers in airports, docks and construction sites pick up any waste iron scrap that would otherwise endanger traffic or puncture tires. By detecting the scrap before any harm is done, they prevent the expense of repairs.
Industrial magnets lift, hold, convey, stack and drop heavy loads. This is very useful in construction, shipping, manufacturing and mining. Magnets are also used in salvage operations and can help dredge large items from the ocean floor.
Magnets, in permanent and electromagnet combination, are used in electric motors for converting electric energy into mechanical energy. The same combination is used in generators to convert mechanical energy into the electrical.
Electronic goods like televisions, radios, CRT computer monitors, CD drives, loudspeakers, microphones, clocks, and sensors have magnets in them. Magnets are used in amplifiers, electric guitar pickups, transformers, actuators, compasses and toys.
Magnets are used in Maglev trains. The full form of Maglev is magnetically levitated. The magnets in the underside of the train and in the rail tracks repel one another. Due to this repulsion, these trains actually float or levitate above the train tracks. This lessens friction and increases train speed. Maglev trains, which were first introduced in Japan in 1997, can travel at speeds up to 480 km/hr.