Magnets and Sustainability
As rare earth magnets become more challenging to obtain, industries must start developing products that take advantage of new sustainable magnet technology. Today, sustainability does more than help the Earth — it wins you the loyalty of environmentally conscious consumers and has the potential to help your bottom line. Magnets are becoming an increasingly more sustainable solution for many industries.
How Are Magnets Made?
Permanent magnets are made from naturally occurring metals that are easily magnetized, like cobalt, ferrite, iron, nickel and rare earth metals. These ferromagnetic materials are then combined and altered to create complex and durable magnets ready for use in industrial and commercial sectors.
Raw magnets are turned into powerful industrial magnets through a curing process where the metals are melted in a vacuum and formed into molten alloys. After the alloy has cooled, it is turned into a fine powder before being compressed into the size, shape, strength and polarity necessary for their future job.
How Are Magnets Sustainable?
While many magnets are produced from non-renewable rare earth metals, their environmental impact is offset by their ability to be infinitely recycled. Permanent magnets can be recycled for use in device after device, though many people don't recycle magnets because they are unaware of their potential. Through learning how to recycle permanent magnets and creating more easily recyclable products, companies can reduce the impact of magnet mining on the environment. Some companies have even begun producing exclusively recycled magnets.
Magnets are also a sustainable alternative to many single-use products. In retail and commercial spaces, magnets are ideal for replacing single-use items such as stickers, paper banners, tape and more. Magnets are a reusable alternative to traditional printed advertising that can potentially last for years to come. When used sparingly as a reusable alternative, magnets can help businesses become more sustainable and boost their bottom line.
The Future of Sustainability
New recycling initiatives and scientific breakthroughs have the potential to increase the sustainability of magnets. Recent research from the University of Leeds has discovered a way to develop sustainable hybrid magnets that enhance cobalt with carbon. The study showed that the presence of Buckminster-fullerene carbon dramatically boosts a natural magnet's energy production by up to five times its strength at low temperatures. Currently, scientists are working to develop a stable and powerful hybrid magnet that works at room temperatures.
When carbon is combined with cobalt, it creates a magnetic pinning effect that keeps the cobalt's magnetism moving steadfastly in the same direction even when confronted with strong opposing fields. While hybrid cobalt carbon magnets are still in the early stages of development, they may one day be ready for use in products such as electric cars and wind turbines.
Choose Magnum Magnetics for All of Your Magnetic Needs
Between new recycling methods and recent developments in hybrid magnet technology, the future for sustainable magnets is bright. Permanent magnets are infinitely recyclable when well maintained, and more large companies are producing devices using recycled magnets. Magnets also increase sustainability in commercial and industrial applications by creating reusable alternatives to single-use products.
At Magnum Magnetics, we're dedicated to following the strictest quality and safety standards to ensure our magnets last for years to come. We're proud to produce 100% of our offerings in America and are committed to providing you with excellent products and customer service. When you need high-quality permanent magnets that are strong enough for your most demanding operations, think Magnum Magnetics.