Does the Shape of a Magnet Affect its Strength?
Magnets come in many different shapes. There’s cylindrical and disc shaped magnets, bar magnets and the classic horse-shaped magnet. The shape of a magnet can have an effect on its strength and performance. Knowing the differences can help you determine what magnet is best suited for your application.
Magnet Shapes & Strengths
Although shape is far from the most important factor when it comes to determining the strength of a magnet, each shape has different magnetic properties. This makes certain shaped magnets better suited for some applications than others. So, without thinking too much about material and size, here are a few popular magnet shapes and how that shape affects their strength.
Shaped like a bar with a pole on each site, Bar Magnets are among the weakest magnets. In comparison to other magnets of equal size, they have the least amount of magnetism because their poles have the smallest area. Bar magnets are often used in school demonstrations, as refrigerator magnets and in cabinet closing mechanisms.
One of the most iconic magnet shapes is the horseshoe magnet. A horseshoe magnet is essentially a bar magnet bent into a U shape. This shape makes the bar magnet stronger. By moving both ends of the magnet to point in the same direction, the poles strengthen each other, basically doubling the magnets strength. These magnets are commonly used for picking up small and hard-to-reach pieces of metal in construction and engineering as well as in science experiments and demonstrations.
Shaped like a flat tube, disc magnets are cylindrical magnets that have a diameter that’s larger than their height. Disc magnets are among the most powerful. You’ll find that most permanent industrial magnets and electromagnets are this shape. This is because their wide, flat surface gives them a large pole area which makes them strong and effective. Disc magnets can be used to lift cars and other huge objects. Smaller ones can also be found in jewelry clasps, home décor and craft projects.
Ring magnets have a circular shape similar to a disc magnet, however they have a hollow center. This center hole makes them versatile, however it does affect their strength. Having less magnetic volume they would not be as strong as an equally sized disc magnet of the same material. Ring magnets can easily slide onto rods and tubes, making them ideal for many manufacturing applications, speakers, sensors, high-performance motors, work holding assemblies, industrial lifting applications and more.
What Determines the Strength of a Magnet?
The real strength of a magnet comes from the material of the magnet, not the shape. The more magnetic the material, the stronger the magnet. Changing the shape allows you to focus the magnetic field and its strength. Other things that can affect a magnet’s strength include temperature, size, humidity and nearby electric currents.
Where to Buy Differently Shaped Magnets?
US Magnetix has industrial magnets for any project. Our industrial magnets and magnetic products are non-printed and have virtually endless uses. For both small and large projects, we have a magnet, magnet assembly or product to fit your needs. Shop our industrial magnets online or send us a message for help choosing the right industrial magnet for you.