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How to Safely Handle Magnets

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safe handling of magnetsMagnets are produced in a wide array of sizes, shapes, and strengths, but there are similarities between all magnetic materials.  They are all relatively brittle which when coupled with their magnetic strength present a number of issues.  They also invoke curiosity, and who hasn’t heard the adage of what curiosity did to the cat.  Handling concerns are common for many our customers, whether it’s in protecting the magnets or the individuals that are using the magnets. The lack of familiarity in using magnets is quite common among receiving and inspection personnel.

The two primary issues resulting from incorrect handling are personal injury and damaged magnets. Personal injury can result in a variety of ways.   Strong magnets can draw ferrous objects or other magnets towards them with surprisingly strong forces resulting in sharp fragments and pinching hazards. This can happen so fast that the human body is unable to stop the collision.  This action is sudden and will typically catch untrained or uninformed technicians by surprise.  Magnetic fields can also negatively impact people with pacemakers or other implanted medical devices.  Although magnets and magnetic fields are around all of us every day, we are not always aware of the strength of industrial magnets.  People with implanted medical devices should avoid handling magnets without previously consulting their doctor.

magnet chipped due to poor handling practicesThe second opportunity for an issue is damage to the magnets or actually losing the magnet.  Magnets can be damaged both physically and magnetically.  Some alloys will lose their magnetism when not handled properly.  Always keep and store the magnets in the manner in which they were received from the magnet supplier.  This will help ensure the magnets do not chip, get broken, or become demagnetized.  The other issue to the magnet is that it can be easily lost because they attract to ferrous objects.

Dura Magnetics employs a number of techniques to mitigate handling issues that arise from time to time.  When it comes to packaging you should never be concerned about the magnets arriving in a safe manner.   We’ve developed various packaging methods that mean you’ll receive your order of magnets packaged appropriately for transit, storage, and ultimately safe removal.  As a producer of very powerful magnets and magnetic assemblies, there are occasional and unavoidable situations that involve risk to either the magnet or the persons working with the magnets.  By default, extreme caution should be practiced when working with all magnets regardless of one’s familiarity when them.  Our commitment is to provide the highest level of service which includes educating our customers on safe handling procedures and practices.  We urge all of our customers to contact us with any questions regarding handling or storage of our magnetic products.

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Did You Know?

Without proper design considerations, your magnet will fail. High temperatures, other magnetic fields and aggressive environments can cause magnets to fail.

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