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Choosing load capacity

About load capacity and strength loss

All load capacities are indicated by direct pull on the magnet, which means the load capacity a magnet has when in direct contact with a magnetic surface and subjected to a straight pull (learn more about glass boards here, where different rules apply). If there is a downward load on the magnet, the pull is indirect, and thus the need for load capacity must be calculated from other parameters.

This can also be explained by hanging a piece of paper versus a calendar/picture frame - see these two examples:

Example 1:

If you hang a piece of paper with a magnet, there is virtually no distance between the magnet surface and the magnet; thus, the magnet's capabilities are not significantly challenged. However, if you hang up 10 pieces of paper, there will be a considerable distance between the magnet and the metal surface, thereby putting more strain on the load capacity - and it is no longer a direct pull. The same applies with a bit heavier card stock: there is still not a large gap between the magnet and the metal surface, so the magnet can carry the heavier card stock without issues. But if you stack several pieces of card stock on top of each other and hang them with a magnet, there will be a significant distance to the metal surface. And thereby the magnet is no longer only challenged in direct pull.

Example 2:

If you hang a calendar (or a framed picture), there is a strong downward pull on the magnet, and this poses quite different requirements for the magnet's load capacity. In this case, consider choosing a very strong hook magnet, which can handle the downward pull. The larger the calendar (not just the weight but also the dimensions), the greater the need for load capacity. We recommend this magnet for hanging calendars that are A3 or larger, on, for example, the refrigerator or whiteboard: Hook-magnet ø20 mm. Contact us to learn more about hanging picture frames.

Loss of Magnetism with Distance

As mentioned above, distance causes the magnetism to "weaken," regardless of whether it's paper, fabric, glass, or air between the magnet and the magnetic material or the other magnet that it needs to connect to.

At a distance of 2 mm, the load capacity is reduced to 30% of the stated capacity with direct contact.

At 5 mm distance, we're down to 8% of the original load capacity measured in direct pull.

Therefore, it is most optimal to ensure that there is as little distance as possible between magnets or magnet and magnetic material to fully utilize the magnetic field. This is especially important to keep in mind when looking for magnets for magnetic glass boards or if you are venturing to make a magnetic knife strip yourself.

Optimal Conditions for Magnetism

When talking about load capacity/strength, it is about the magnet's performance under optimal conditions. Here it's important to know a bit about the conditions that apply.

Direct Pull/Horizontal Pull

It can be a bit challenging to describe direct and indirect pulls in a way everyone can understand. But let's take the ceiling as a starting point for direct pull, i.e., mounting a magnet in a ceiling:

For example, if you want to hang a lamp in the ceiling, this mounting will occur via direct pull. You should account for the item's weight, and whether there are fluctuations (see below). As a rule of thumb, you should multiply the weight of the lamp by 2 to be safe, covering most considerations. The lamp must not fall down, and therefore it is important not to choose the exact same strength as the weight of the device.

Factors that can diminish the magnet's performance include vibrations, skewed/angled pull on the magnet, and possible building tremors (if you have premises next to a train station, right up the metro, by a heavily trafficked road, etc.). It is difficult to make rules of thumb for such things, as there is a great variation in these parameters. Light vibrations due to draft from the window can easily be managed by doubling the strength relative to the weight of the lamp. But if there are major tremors in the building or daily drafts, you will likely need to multiply by 4 or more. Feel free to contact us - we know it can be tricky to calculate.

External Factors

As we touched on above, remember to consider potential external factors that can influence your strength needs. Here, the proximity of a metro station, doors opening and closing in the same room, gusts from open doors, and the like can significantly affect the magnet's performance.

If you're going to mount a magnet outdoors, you also need to take into account the wind strength it can be subjected to. This will also significantly affect the magnet's performance, and therefore we recommend that you at least multiply the object's weight by 6-8 to be entirely sure. And if it's a banner to be hung in windy conditions at a festival or during a concert, you should multiply by at least 20. There's not much joy in a banner being torn loose by a fierce gust of wind, causing a severe pull on the magnet, which can be quite impossible to calculate precisely in terms of wind direction.

If you're unsure whether you've determined the correct strength needs, you always have the option to contact us with questions.

Calculate your own strength needs

If you're brave enough to make your own calculation, we've created a magnet calculator where you - by providing different dimensions - can calculate several tasks yourself. Sometimes you want answers quickly when you have a project in mind, and the magnet calculator will quickly guide you in the direction of which magnet sizes you need based on potential distance and weight.

Related products - Choosing load capacity

Discover an extensive collection of magnets at Magnetpartner, where we excel in assisting you with the appropriate magnet selection for any project. Reach out to our customer service on any weekday within business hours for personalized links to the finest and most robust magnets necessary for your endeavors. Our expertise is at your service to identify the perfect magnet for your task.