Magnets and Harsh Environments
By: Kelley Cameron, SM Magnetics Account Manager
Magnets are present in virtually every industry and play a significant role in the successful operation of a product. Whether it is a sensor magnet, medical magnet, motor magnet, automotive magnet, consumer electronics magnets, or some other use, each application has a unique operating environment.
Why is Understanding the Operating Environment Important?
Understanding the operating environment is critical to the long-term success of the product and the magnet. Understanding the operating environment will determine the magnetic material, the technical specs of the magnet, the coating, and any other info related to the magnet performing as required. Below are some of the issues to consider when selecting a magnet for your application.
Magnets in Chemical Environments
Certain coatings can handle chemical fluids. Defining the chemicals used in cleaning, use, or during assembly of the product will determine the magnet and coating requirement.
Magnets in High Heat Environments
Heat can play a significant role in demagnetizing a magnet. There are many magnet materials that can handle higher heat, but selecting the correct one based upon the requirements of the magnetic field will determine which material is best. Also, magnets can be exposed to heat in areas other than the normal operating environment. For example, consider the assembly functions that may put significant heat on the magnet, such as welding, injection molding and cleaning.
Magnets in Wet Environments
Environments that expose a magnet to water, salt water, humidity or other fluids require careful selection of the magnetic material, or the coating. Some magnetic materials can function well in wet environments, however, materials such as neodymium will require the correct coating based upon the environment.
Magnets in Magnetic Environments
Strong Opposing Magnet Fields can potentially demagnetize a magnet. This involves a magnet exposed to a stronger magnet, or an environment where a magnetic field is present, like an MRI. Demagnetization in these environments can cause the magnet to perform with less field, thus making the product perform differently.
Magnets in Medical Environments
The innovation and research that goes into medical devices is some of the best product development we see. Magnets used in medical applications run the spectrum of harsh and unique environments. You can check out the blog Medical Magnets and the Associated Challenges for a more detailed look at magnets used in medical applications.
About SM Magnetics: SM Magnetics is privately owned company, providing assistance with permanent magnets, magnetic design & optimization, engineering support, and production. SuperMagnetMan is the online retail division of SM Magnetics offering neodymium magnets and other materials.