Industrial magnets come in many forms. Fifty years ago, the most widely used material to construct industrial magnets was ferrite. The problem with ferrite is that it is very brittle and shatters easily. Engineers subsequently began using a combination of aluminum and nickel. Most recently, rare earth magnets have become quite popular and common for industrial magnet applications.
When manufacturing magnetic sweepers and general industrial magnetic products, a combination of both ferrite and rare earth continue to be the most popular magnet choices.
Magnetic sweepers, magnetic brooms and industrial magnets made for “sweeping” purposes tend to use the ferrite type of magnet. These magnets are well suited for retrieving ferrous metal objects from as far away as 3-4″. Industrial magnets made for lifting purposes such as specific “lifting magnets” tend to use rare earth magnets for the tremendous strength at the surface, in some cases exceeding 10,000 gauss. While these rare earth magnets possess great strength, it generally is at the surface and diminishes quickly as the distance increases from the object being lifted.
The use of industrial magnets is unlimited and growing. Industrial magnets are also heavily used in some of the best selling consumer products in the world. Nearly every hand tool and power tool utilizing a motor will also use some sort of industrial magnet in it’s workings.