How Strong of a Magnet do You Need

 In Industrial Magnets, Magnets, Magnets and Science, Types of Magnets

Size, shape and material are all factors in determining the strength of a magnet, but bigger isn’t always better. It’s not always economical to use larger magnets, especially if you’re using a lot of them, and it’s not always practical depending on what you are using them for. Pull force is a measurement we use to determine the strength of a magnet and you can use it to help decide what magnet to buy for your project.

What is Pull Force?

Pull force is a reliable method of measuring the maximum strength of a magnet. It is basically the force that is needed to pull a magnet away from a ferrous material. It is usually determined by conducting a vertical test, where a clean magnetic assembly is attached to a clean steel plate. A hook with a measuring device is then attached to the magnet and it slowly pulls the magnet upward until the magnet pulls away from the plate. The higher the pull strength, the stronger the magnet. It’s more a measurement of holding strength, so keep in mind that number is not necessarily the number of pounds a magnet can lift. It also doesn’t guarantee you’ll have those exact same results in your application setting.

What Effects Pull Strength?

Pull tests are a common measurement used across the magnetic industry, but it’s important to note that pull strength will vary. Although repeated to ensure accuracy, pull tests are performed under ideal conditions, which are rarely the conditions of real-world applications. Things that can affect pull strength include:

  • Type of material being pulled against
  • The thickness or composition of the steel
  • The existence of coatings or plating of the magnet, including paint or grease
  • Uneven surface area including the presence of rust

Application Considerations

Pull force is an accurate indicator of magnetic strength but even so there are other factors to consider when it comes to your specific application. These application considerations include things like:

  • The number of poles needed
  • The existence of air gaps at any contact point
  • The temperature of the environment
  • The humidity of the environment
  • The storage area

How to Determine Magnetic Strength for Your Project

Because there are so many variables that can affect magnetic strength and performance, the best and most accurate way to determine what magnet is best for your project is to test it. You can also rely on the magnetic experts at US Magnetix. We have years of experience working with all types of magnets and are more than happy to assist you with selecting the best magnet for your needs. Contact us online or click here to request a sample.


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