Magnets have important uses in current applications. Industries are the main beneficiaries of these elements with magnetic fields. Many of the products we use today have magnets especially electronics which we’ll be taking a look at shortly.
Most industrial neodymium magnets are ferromagnetic materials, i.e., materials which contain iron. Hard and soft magnets also exist. Hard magnets are those that stay magnetized for long periods while soft magnets are materials which can be magnetized though they don’t retain the property for long. Then we have permanent magnets and electromagnets, the first which is made from magnetized materials and the second which derives a magnetic field only after being subjected to an electric current.
The commercial and industrial use of magnets spans a very vast range of applications. Permanent and electromagnets may be used.
* The electronics industry has put magnets to good use and many products we use every day have at least a small piece in them. Cathode ray tube (CRT) televisions and computer monitors use electromagnets to deflect electrons to the top, bottom and sides of a screen. This allows the systems to display images.
* Computer components like hard disk drives and the now almost obsolete floppy disks have thin magnetic coatings that permit data to be read and stored. This data is obtained via a magnetic field that’s attracted to the coatings.
* Pickups for electric guitars are magnetized to convert vibrations from guitar strings into electric energy which is then amplified.
* Maglev trains wouldn’t be available without magnets as they rely on electromagnets attached to the undersides of the carriage and the tracks.
* Instruments gauges in vehicles use electromagnets and permanent magnets to move gauge needles.
* Electric cars rely heavily on electromagnets to create rotational motion which propels the vehicles. The neodymium magnets are extremely powerful and are made of neodymium, an alloy of boron, iron and neodymium.
In medical science
* A common example of magnets in medical science is in MRI or magnetic resonance imaging. The scanner contains a powerful magnet that detects positively charged ions of water in the body. The machine aligns these magnetized nuclei which produces a magnetic field readable by the scanner.
* A second example is magnetic therapy, an alternative medicine treatment that seeks to alleviate ailments by subjecting the body to magneto static fields using permanent magnets.
* Salvaging for magnetic metals among non-magnetic metals can be done using magnets. Magnetic materials too tiny to be seen beneath heaps of scrap can also be picked up.
* Ferromagnetic materials can also be salvaged from ocean floors using magnets.
In home applications
* Permanent magnets can be used to help prevent corrosion in plumbing lines. Placing one inside intake lines attracts metallic calcium particles that cause rust.
* Refrigerator doors close and stay closed with the help of magnets.
These are only a few examples of the widespread use of magnets. There are many more such as credit cards which use a magnetic strip to encode personal information. More uses will undoubtedly be found as technology continues to heavily rely on magnetized materials.