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Maximum Length of a Sheet Metal for Plate Lifting Magnet

Posted on May 23, 2016

WARNING: The sheet steel of 7’ long x 14ga gripped by lifting magnet PL-550, shown in the photo below, is bending severely.  Such lifting operation is very dangerous because the sheet is too long and too thin for a single PL-550.

Metal too thin to be lifted by Armstrong Magnetics' plate lifting magnet PL-series 

When a PL-550 or PL-1100 lifting magnet lifts a sheet metal, the unsupported overhang of the sheet metal would bend due to gravity and possibly peel off from the lifting magnet when the sheet metal is too big and too thin.

For safe lifting, the length of a sheet metal to be lifted using a single lifting magnet of the PL models must be less than the listed value below. If not, you have to use additional PL lifting magnets connected by a spreader beam.

Plate Thickness Max. Length of a sheet metal/plate to be lifted
For PL-550 For PL-1100
22 Ga. Not Work Not Work
18 Ga. Not Work Not Work
16 Ga. Not Work Not Work
14 Ga. 4' Not Work
11 Ga. 4' 4'
3/16" 5' 5'
1/4" 5' 5'
5/16" 5' 5'
3/8" 6' 6'
1/2" 7' 7'

Besides the maximum length of the sheet metal to be lifted, you must also consider the width of the sheet metal because larger width means greater weight of the unsupported overhang, resulting more bending of the sheet metal and a more peeling force therefore. Further more, the air gap between the lifting magnet and the sheet metal, which may be created by dust, rust, painting or burrs, could also greatly reduce the lifting capacity of the lifting magnet of PL-550 and PL-1100. For more information, see and