Many of us remember learning the principles of magnetism in school, but then we move on and never think twice about magnets again. In fact, most of our magnet use probably doesn’t go beyond the magnets we stick on our refrigerator. However, there are several industries that utilize magnets every day, and these industries don’t include your kid or grandkid’s science class—we’re talking about some big-time magnets. This article covers a few of the common industries that need magnets to operate.
Deep in the Mines
No, we’re not talking about that mining craft game your grandkids won’t stop playing; we’re talking about actual miners. These professionals must separate different minerals from the mixture they gather from the mining process. Magnets help miners separate minerals that are favorable or unfavorable, depending on what they’re mining for. However, magnets are most common in coal mining nowadays. Since so many businesses depend on coal as fuel, they don’t want to purchase coal that’s contaminated with other minerals.
Magnets are very common in manufacturing facilities, but especially in food production because contaminated food can be dangerous and even fatal if consumed. Magnets help food remain safe and uncontaminated specifically through the process of magnetic separation. Conveyor belts along with several separator magnets help separate harmful particles from the mixture, which keeps our food safe for consumption.
Medical Equipment and Pharmaceuticals
One industry that many people don’t realize uses magnets is medicine. For instance, magnets have helped MRI machine operators discover innovative findings in MRI technology that scientists wouldn’t have found otherwise. In addition, the pharmaceutical industry uses magnets for the same reason as food production—to eliminate or reduce contaminating materials.
Seeing giant magnets in use to move things such as full sheets of metal or entire cars at scrap yards is captivating; this also proves how strong magnets are. Not to mention, watching heavy equipment like cranes and excavators in use makes anyone want to take the reins. Scrap yards are one of the industries that has used magnets for centuries, and rightly so—those cars aren’t getting any lighter.
Believe it or not, there are still many more industries that utilize magnets every day. For instance, plastic and glass manufacturers, automotive industries, not to mention all the magnets in our technology. It seems like our teachers in school weren’t totally crazy after all—magnets are useful for more than just holding our to-do list on the refrigerator.