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Safety Precaution for Handling Neodymium Magnets

Posted on April 12, 2017

Armstrong Neodymium Magnets

With high intrinsic coercive force (Hci) over 12,000 Oe and maximum energy product ((BH)max) between 27-52 MGOe, neodymium magnets have the greatest strength among all available permanent magnet materials (>7 times stronger than ceramic magnets) as they are extremely resistant to demagnetization and have high saturation of magnetization. The magnetization saturation is the amount of magnetic energy the material can store indicating the pull force it can attain. With such characters, neodymium magnets are often used in reversible environment where powerful demagnetization fields exist and as components for which strong holding or separating strengths are required.

Since tremendous amount of strength are packed in these miniature brittle products, you must follow cautionary procedures to avoid personal injury and property/material damage. Here we recommend a list of general precautions.

  • Always wear heavy duty working gloves (with impact protection), goggles and steel-toe boots.

  • Always carry out Field Level Risk Assessment before you handle magnets. Think about what you need do with the magnet. Look around and identify ferromagnetic items (i.e. metal pieces, tools, other magnets) that might “fly” towards you and your magnet and pinch/smash/poke/cut you. Assess the possibilities of accidents and how you can prevent them from happening, i.e. move any magnetic attractive items 3 feet away. It is important to take your time going through FLRA before you resume your work.

  • Always handle the neodymium magnets one by one. With enormously pull force, they can be difficult to separate or crash each other when being put together. When receiving our magnets, you could find spacing materials between them such as a piece of wood, plastic or cardboard so then they can be easily detached by sliding them horizontally. For example, if they are axially magnetized, slide them diametrically. Some of our in-stock items have pull forces close to or exceeding 100 lbs.

  • Keep neodymium and samarium cobalt magnets at least 2 inches from ceramic magnets to prevent de-magnetizing the ceramic magnets.

  • When designing applications involving neodymium magnets, always keep in mind that they can be easily broken with impact, corrode in wet or acidic environment and begin to lose their magnetism at temperature above 80oC. Make sure to fully and securely install one magnet before moving on to the next piece, i.e. wait for epoxy between steel cup and magnets to fully dry out for maximum adhesiveness.

  • Never let children to play with neodymium magnets. If swallowed, they can block esophagus, cause choking or become reactive leading to infection. Youngsters may also not understand the above precautions and severity of possible injury and damages.
It is important to educate yourself and your co-workers before handling these small yet powerful products in order to make sure everyone goes home safe and healthy.