What Can Magnets Be Used For?

Magnetism is a material's ability to influence magnetic fields. These materials are called magnets, and there are three main types: Temporary magnets, permanent magnets, and electromagnets. What is the difference between these types, and what can they be used for?

What can magnets be used for? Magnets can be used for attracting ferromagnetic materials. Magnetism and electricity are very closely related, and the science behind it, is used very much in technology. Magnets attract or repel other magnets, but are also used to store memory in a computers hard drive and to turn electricity into motion.

In a sense, the earth is a giant, but sort of a weak magnet. It has both north and south magnetic poles, and a magnetic field, and every time you use a compass, you prove the theory of the definition of a magnet.

Today we put the earth in its own category and focus more on, what general magnets can be used for, and the three main types of magnets. So, if the explanation above was way too short, then keep reading. Magnets are extremely useful and super cool.

What can magnets be used for?

The most common used magnet known for daily use is probably the fridge and the board magnet. It is easy to see and use them, and are called permanent magnets. Many may have used them as toys or in school, but magnets are surprisingly more used than most people think.

Magnets can be affected by electricity, which can make them extremely useful in electronic devices and machines, so I know I was surprised when I realized, how many magnets there was in the home, and how important they are.

If you remember the floppy disk, it was a thin disk known as a magnetic storage medium. The technology has been revolutionized since the use of these disks, but the computer still uses magnets to store information and is an important part of the hard drive and the computer memory.

Magnets are also used to power speakers in stereos, headphones, and televisions. Furthermore, they are used in electric motors to set the electricity into motion, and there are usually a lot of these small electric motors to find in a house.

DVD-players, hair dryers, electric toothbrushes and the ice dispenser in a fridge. If you go outside; a garage door opener, electric windows in cars or lawn mowers. All these things can use magnets to function.

So, when we sometimes say, that the power of magnets is unlimited, we mean it.

Magnets are even used in the famous MRI-scanner, which stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. The scanner can produce detailed pictures of parts of the body including the brain as well.

The science behind magnetism can be very complex, and the use of them can be extremely different from if magnets are used in hard drives, motors, cars, generators, televisions, phones, speakers, transducers, sensors, vending machines, compasses, wind turbines or scanners.

Magnets are not necessarily used in all of the items, mentioned above, but I think we are getting a good picture of, how much magnets really are used and influencing our daily life.

As magnets are used in a lot of different materials, they are also created with different purposes and abilities. As mentioned earlier, magnets can be affected by electricity, but the use of different magnets can also affect and interfere with electronic devices.

We have taken a closer look at the three main types of magnets.

Temporary Magnets

We haven't really mentioned temporary magnets this much in the blog. As the name indicates, the magnetic force on these magnets are temporary, and you might argue, that an electromagnet is a temporary magnet as well.

We put electromagnets in its own category, cause the use of these are created when a very strong magnet is necessary and the properties to switch the force on and off when needed.

Temporary magnets are made from magnetic materials, but only has the magnetic force, when they are exposed to magnetic fields. This means, that temporary magnets are made of ferromagnetic material, soft metal that is made magnetic either by other magnets or electric current.

Some of the most common temporary magnets, if you do not include electromagnets in this category, are paper clips and nails. So, these are not used in devices in the same way as permanent magnets and electromagnets.

When the magnetic field is removed, the temporary magnet gradually loses its force.

Permanent Magnets

We have written a lot about permanent magnets in our previous blog posts. This is because these magnets are more “tangible” and easy to understand, and the ones we really have a passion for a MagnetPartner.

These magnets are objects, which are made from a magnetized material, usually an alloy, which means a combination of metals. After being refined, they create their own persistent magnetic field.

The functions of these magnets are used a lot in industrial devices. Permanent magnets are used to convert mechanical energy to electrical energy, and the other way around.

They are used to either attract or repulse other magnets and magnetic material, and they help to control electrons or ions.

The thing we love about permanent magnets is, that they also are more available for the common user in daily life. Once they are magnetized, they do not easily lose their magnetic force, and you can use them for all kinds of creative things.

We have made some videos with some “life hacks” or a MacGyver, as we also called it when you make something creative with items around you. So far, these videos are in Danish but with subtitles.

This is still an on-going process, but we hope to inspire to the unlimited things, you can use magnets for in the daily life. Take a look at our selection of magnets and see, if any of them fit your needs.

We have a large selection of fun magnets, which can be used both for whiteboards and for the fridge, but we also have so much more than that. Our magnets can also be used in the industry and as strong office magnets. Last but not least, for DIY-projects.

Electromagnets

An electromagnet is as we previously mentioned, a magnet that can have its electric force switched on and off. In its simple form, it is made by a coil of wire wrapped around an core of magnetic material like iron. It has its magnetic field produced by an electric current.

The Danish Scientist Hans Christian Ørsted discovered in 1820 the first connection found between electricity and magnetism. Around four years later, the British scientist William Sturgeon invented the first electromagnet, and today they are used in many of the devices we mentioned earlier.

Here are some more uses of magnets: Electric bells and buzzers, relays, actuators such as valves, spectrometers, particle accelerators, magnetic locks, induction heating, magnetic separation, but also magnetic levitation used in maglev trains.

Yeah, magnets are used for so much more than hanging up your pizza menu and other notes on the fridge. That is not a bad attribute to have, but the use of magnets and magnetism in the world is amazing.

I Hope you enjoyed reading this post and got a little overwhelmed by all the things that contain magnets and the different uses of the objects.