Strong Neodymium Magnet Considerations

  •   “Since their discovery, in the early 1980s, neodymium magnets have become the most widely used of the many varieties of magnets. They can be found in several everyday devices from disk drives to magnetic parts of cars and airplanes. Neodymium magnets can be produced in any size but retain their initial magnetic strength.

      Applications of Neodymium Magnets

      Magnetic Separation Conveyors:

      “In the demonstration below, the conveyor belt is covered with Strong Neodymium Magnets suppliers. The magnets are arranged with alternating poles facing out that gives them a strong magnetic hold. Things not attracted to the magnets fall away, while the ferromagnetic material is dropped into a collecting bin.

      Hard disk drives:

      “Hard drives have tracks and sectors with magnetic cells. The cells are magnetized when data is written to the drive.

      Electric Guitar Pickups:

      “An electric guitar pickup senses the vibrating strings and converts the signal into a weak electrical current to send to an amplifier and speaker. Electric guitars are unlike acoustic guitars that amplify their sound in the hollow box under the strings. Electric guitars can be solid metal or wood with their sound amplified electronically.

      Water Treatment:

      “Neodymium magnets are used in water treatment to reduce scaling from hard water. Hard water has a high mineral content of calcium and magnesium. With magnetic water treatment, water passes through a magnetic field to capture scaling. The technology has not been completely accepted as effective. There have been encouraging results.

      Reed Switches:

      “A reed switch is an electrical switch operated by a magnetic field. They have two contacts and metal reeds in a glass envelope. The contacts of the switch are open until activated by a magnet.

      “Reed switches are used in mechanical systems as proximity sensors in doors and windows for burglar alarm systems and tamper proofing. In laptops, reed switches put the laptop in sleep mode when the lid is closed. Pedal keyboards for pipe organs use reed switches that are in a glass enclosure for the contacts to protect them from dirt, dust, and debris.

      Sewing Magnets:

      “Neodymium sew in magnets are used for magnetic clasps on purses, clothing, and folders or binders. Sewing magnets are sold in pairs with one magnet being a+ and the other a-. The video below demonstrates sew in magnets on a pair of cargo pants, which are sewn into the hem or a fold to hide the magnets.

      Denture Magnets:

      “Dentures can be held in place by magnets embedded in a patient’s jaw. The magnets are protected from corrosion from saliva by stainless steel plating. Ceramic titanium nitride is applied to avoid abrasion and reduce exposure to nickel.

      Magnetic Doorstops:

      “Magnetic doorstops are a mechanical stop that holds a door open. The door swings open, touches a magnet, and stays open until the door is tugged off the magnet.

      Jewelry Clasp:

      “Magnetic jewelry clasps come with two halves and are sold as a pair. The halves have a magnet in a housing of non-magnet material. A metal loop on the end attaches the chain of a bracelet or necklace. The magnet housings fit inside each other preventing side-to-side or shearing motion between the magnets to provide a sturdy hold.


      “Speakers convert electrical energy into mechanical energy or motion. The mechanical energy compresses air and converts motion to sound energy or sound pressure level. An electric current, sent through a wire coil, creates a magnetic field in a magnet attached to the speaker. The voice coil is attracted and repelled by the permanent magnet, which makes the cone, the voice coil is attached to, move back and forth. The cones motion creates pressure waves that are heard as sound.

      Anti-Lock Brake Sensors:

      “In anti-lock brakes, neodymium magnets are wrapped inside copper coils in the brake’s sensors. An anti-lock braking system controls the rate wheels accelerate and de-accelerate by regulating the line pressure applied to the brake. The control signals, generated by the controller and applied to the brake pressure modulating unit, are taken from wheel speed sensors.

      “Teeth on the sensor ring rotate past the magnetic sensor, which causes a reversal of polarity of the magnetic field that sends a frequency signal to the angular velocity of the axle. The differentiation of the signal is the acceleration of the wheels.

      Chapter Five – Neodymium Magnet Considerations

      “As the most powerful and strongest magnets on earth, neodymium magnets can have damaging negative effects. It is important they be handled properly with consideration for the harm they can cause. Below are descriptions of some of the negative effects of neodymium magnets.

      Negative Effects of Neodymium Magnets

      Bodily Injury:

      “Neodymium magnets can jump together and pinch the skin or cause serious injuries. They can leap or slam together from several inches to several feet apart. If a finger is in the way, it can be broken or severely harmed. Neodymium magnets are more powerful than other kinds of magnets. The incredibly powerful force between them can often be surprising.

      Magnet Breakage:

      “Neodymium magnets are brittle and can peel, chip, crack or shatter if they slam together, which sends small sharp metal pieces flying at great speed. Neodymium magnets are made of a hard, brittle material. Despite being made of metal, and having a shiny, metallic appearance, they are not durable. Eye protection should be worn when handling them.

      Keep Away from Children:

      “Neodymium magnets are not toys. Children should not be allowed to handle them. Small ones can be a choking hazard. If multiple magnets are swallowed, they attach to one another through the intestine walls, which will cause severe health issues, requiring immediate, emergency surgery.

      Danger to Pacemakers:

      “A field strength of ten gauss near a pacemaker or defibrillator can interact with the implanted device. Neodymium magnets create strong magnetic fields, which can interfere with pacemakers, ICDs, and implanted medical devices. Many implanted devices deactivate when they are near a magnetic field.

      Magnetic Media:

      “The strong magnetic fields from neodymium magnets can damage magnetic media such as floppy disks, credit cards, magnetic ID cards, cassette tapes, video tapes, damage older televisions, VCRs, computer monitors, and CRT displays. They should not be placed near electronic appliances.

      GPS and Smartphones:

      “Magnetic fields interfere with compasses or magnetometers and internal compasses of smartphones and GPS devices. The International Air Transport Association and US Federal rules and regulations cover shipping of magnets.

      Nickel Allergy:

      “If you have a nickel allergy, the immune system mistakes nickel as a dangerous intruder and produces chemicals to fight against it. An allergic reaction to nickel is redness and a skin rash. Nickel allergies are more common in women and girls. Approximately, 36 percent of women, under 18, have a nickel allergy. The way to avoid nickel allergy is to avoid nickel coated neodymium magnets.


      “Neodymium magnets retain their effectiveness up to 80o C or 175o F. The temperature that they begin to lose their effectiveness varies by grade, shape, and application.


      “Neodymium magnets should not be drilled or machined. The dust and powder produced by grinding is flammable.


      “Neodymium magnets are finished with some form of coating or plating to protect them from the elements. They are not waterproof and will rust or corrode when placed in wet or moist environments.

      Chapter Six – Standards and Regulations for Neodymium Magnet Use

      “Though neodymium magnets have a strong magnetic field, they are very brittle and require special handling. Several industrial monitoring agencies have developed regulations regarding the handling, manufacture, and shipping of neodymium magnets. A brief description of a few of the regulations is listed below.

      Standards and Regulations for Neodymium Magnets

      “American Society of Mechanical Engineers:

      The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) has standards for Below-The-Hook Lifting Devices. Standard B30.20 applies to installation, inspection, testing, maintenance and operation of lifting devices, which includes lifting magnets where the operator positions the magnet on the load and guides the load. ASME standard BTH-1 is applied in conjunction with ASME B30.20.

      Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points:

      “Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) is an internationally recognized preventive risk management system. It examines food safety from biological, chemical, and physical hazards by requiring the identification and control of hazards at certain points in the production process. It offers certification for equipment used at food facilities. HACCP has identified and certified certain separation magnets used in the food industry.

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