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how long do magnets last

How Long Do Magnets Last?

Many of us have magnets in our homes or businesses but aren't really sure how they work or, more importantly, how long they last. Magnum Magnetics is here to discuss the longevity of magnets and what you can do to increase their life span. We specialize in all things magnetic, providing reliable information and premium products for people who rely on magnets.

The Life Span of Magnets

Permanent magnets, often made from magnetized iron, cobalt or nickel, generate their own perpetual magnetic fields. These permanent magnets can last for decades, only losing a small percentage of their magnetic strength during that time. However, magnetic signs and sheets offer a much shorter life span, as they endure conditions that may cause them to lose their magnetic properties sooner.

What Causes Magnets to Lose Their Magnetism?

Although permanent magnets are supposed to live up to their name, certain elements and conditions cause them to lose their magnetism over time. A reduced life span usually results from how we use, store and care for magnets. Here are a few conditions that may decrease a magnet's life span:

Temperature Changes

Warmer environments tend to speed up the effects of demagnetizing fields and corrosion. Extreme temperatures will permanently cause the magnet to lose its magnetic strength. However, it's rare for a magnet to experience these severe conditions under normal circumstances. Welding magnets is a common way to cause heat damage and decrease magnetic strength.

External Magnetic Fields

While it may seem counterintuitive, magnets weaken each other. When a magnet encounters another permanent magnet, its magnetic fields cause lasting damage. Typically, larger magnets demagnetize smaller magnets.

Physical Damage

Chips, scratches and other physical defects can weaken the magnet and reduce its life span. Defects on the magnet's housing allow moisture and other elements to cause lasting damage to your magnets.

How to Take Care of Magnets

Magnets have the potential to last many years with the proper care and maintenance. There are a few ways you can extend the life span of your magnets, such as:

Correct Storage

One of the best things you can do for a magnet is store it correctly. Most people make the mistake of throwing all their magnets into one box or drawer, but this habit can weaken magnetic strength. Here are some handy storage tips:

  • Use a keeper: You can store all your magnets in one area provided you apply a keeper, a small piece of iron, between the north and south poles. 
  • Let opposite poles touch: If you don't have a keeper, store your magnets in pairs by keeping the opposite poles in contact. 
  • Keep them in a dry place: It's best to store your magnets in a dry place to reduce the chances of corrosion. 
  • Use a nonferromagnetic container: Nonferromagnetic refers to substances that do not contain iron. The best place to keep magnetics is in a wooden or plastic container to prevent them from attracting other magnetic materials.

Keep Away From Extreme Conditions

External factors such as extreme heat and high-voltage electricity demagnetize permanent magnets. Although it takes a while for these conditions to alter the magnetic properties, it's still not a good idea to place a magnet anywhere it might be exposed to high temperatures or electricity. Once extreme heat changes the magnetic properties, the process cannot be reversed.

Apply a Protective Coat

You can also apply a rubber coating to your magnets to protect them from corrosion and surface defects. Rubber may not have a long life span, but you can easily replace it once it's cracked or torn. That is how we protect magnetic signs and strips from harsh environmental conditions. 

Why Choose Our Magnets

Here at Magnum Magnetics, we go the extra mile to deliver quality magnetic products. We only provide American-made products manufactured with durable materials to ensure lasting results. Our magnets offer strength and reliability for harsh environments and demanding conditions.

We are the largest flexible or rubber magnet manufacturer in the U.S., supplying a range of magnetic products for all sorts of applications. Since all our products are American-made and require no overseas shipping, we can provide short lead times. Additionally, our magnets are nontoxic, making them safe for any application.

Contact Magnum Magnetics for Lasting Magnets

At Magnum Magnetics, we offer customized orders, ensuring our customers get what they need. Our experienced team will work with you to find a solution that meets your requirements. Contact us today to purchase flexible magnets for any application or industry!