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We are surrounded by magnets.  Magnets are all around us, and most people do not even realize it.  Sure, you may have some on your fridge that come to mind, but most average households in the US have hundreds of magnets in them.  These magnets are tucked away in some of our most used items in our home, and we never even knew it.  And to think that magnets are a several thousand year old “technology” that really has not replacement.  It will never go obsolete.  Sure there are alternatives, but generally there is no substitute for the performance of a magnet.

Let’s start in the kitchen.  More than likely, there are a mixture of both flexible printed magnets and some hard magnets on your refrigerator holding up your kids’ drawings or To Do lists.  But, how about inside your refrigerator?  The seal around your fridge door is a magnetic seal to help keep the door closed and your food cold.  Let’s move on to your cabinets, they may very well have some magnetic latches to make sure that they stay closed.  Today many people hang up large decorative channel magnets that can hold their knives, so they don’t accidentally get cut while reaching for them in a drawer.  There are also spice containers with magnetic circles on their bottoms, so they can stick to the sides of the fridge for easy access.  If you have a garbage disposal, microwave, blender, mixer or can opener, then you also have magnets.  Magnets help drive the electric motors inside these small appliances. 

Moving on to your bathroom, you may likely have a shower curtain liner that has ceramic magnets in it that help it stick to your tub to make sure the water stays in.  If you use a blow dryer, the motor in that may very well have a magnet in it.  Some scales have magnets in them to help the needle on the scale move down quickly when you step off.

Let’s look at your office/home gym.  If you have a computer in your office, then you have magnets in there as well.  Most computer hard drives contain several permanent magnets, unless they are a solid-state drive.  Laptops have magnets in them that trigger reed switches so that they can sense when the cover has been opened.  If you use speakers to listen to music, earphones or even your smartphone, there are magnets in them that help to emit the sound, as well as the speakers in your television sets.  Do you have any exercise equipment in your office?  Odds are if you do, then you can add on more magnets.  Magnets in exercise equipment pass sensors in the machines to count revolutions and let you know just how many miles you got in (or didn’t) during your workout.  Your vacuum cleaner motor also contains super strong neodymium magnets that help to create the powerful suction you look for in a vacuum while keeping it lightweight.

Glancing around your bedroom, you may very well find magnets in some of your clothing or accessories.  Magnets are being used more often as closures for pockets or elsewhere in clothing and as handbag closures.  You may have a magnetic bookmark holding your place in the latest novel on your nightstand.  Many makers of jewelry are now making bracelets and necklaces with magnetic clasps, so you no longer must struggle getting them on by yourself. 

Magnets play a large part in our modern world, without most of us even knowing.  These very small, powerful magnets have a very large impact on our daily life. 

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Tradeshow season is upon us and exhibiting at tradeshows is a great way to get your company’s name out there to thousands of new possible customers.  A large backdrop or tradeshow booth can be a great way to attract customers to your booth space.  Most tradeshow booths are collapsible for easy storage and shipping, but did you know that assembling your tradeshow booth can be simple and painless with the use of magnets?!

Most smaller trade show booths or backdrops have a lightweight frame that is collapsible and then when stretched open, locks into place using strong neodymium magnets.  The frame is then covered by printed panels.  The easiest way to have a seamless looking, easy to assemble tradeshow booth is by using Matched Pole Magnets.  Matched Pole is a two-part, flexible magnet system with an A and a B side that line up perfectly with each other 100% of the time.  This is typically found in a 60-mil thick material and sold in ½” to 1” widths with an adhesive on the non-magnetic side. Therefore, you would adhere strips of Matched Pole A on your panels and strips of the Matched Pole B on the frame and they attach easily and are perfectly aligned every single time!  Matched Pole magnet makes setup and takedown almost effortless. 

 Matched Pole magnet is not only a fantastic solution for your tradeshow booth but is a great option if you choose to display signage in any setting. Unlike regular flexible magnetic strip, which may have trouble with the magnetic poles lining up correctly, Matched Pole magnet is the perfect match every time, saving you time and trouble.

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Odds are you have been driving behind someone’s car that is covered with magnets shaped like paw prints, stars or some other crazy shape other than a basic rectangle or square magnet that is most common.  Have you ever wondered… “Hmmm, how do they make these cool magnets in all different shapes?”  The short answer is they are converted out of boring old strips and sheets of flexible magnet by a process called die cutting.  Die cut magnets are used for a variety of different applications.  There are die cut magnets that help to operate reed switches, make gaskets, are used for masking during painting equipment, have the name of your realtor on your fridge on a little house, make your spice container be able to magnetically attract to your refrigerator…you name it!  The process of die cutting entails using a steel rule or an ejector die that has been carefully made in the exact shape and dimensions of what you would like your image to look like.  There are then a variety of machines that the magnets can be die cut on depending on the size of the magnet, thickness of the magnet and quantity of the magnets that need to be made.  Take a look at some common die cutting applications performed on different machines in the three videos below and prepare to be amazed at how quickly a magnet can be transformed from square to “this I gotta share”

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Has this ever happened to you?  Your customer has a job they need completed, but they do not know exactly what they need for the outcome to work as they had envisioned.  You know that they are looking for magnet in their project, but there are numerous different kinds of magnet.  Therefore, you are not sure what type of magnet would work best for their application.  We encounter this issue frequently with our customers, and we love to try to educate on what types of magnet would work best for their job.  Below is a quick cheat sheet to try and help you determine which magnet would work best in certain common applications. 

Flexible Strip and Sheet Magnet

We recommend using flexible strip or flexible sheet (depending on the size of magnet you need), when you have an application that doesn’t require excessive strength and the magnet will be going directly onto a receptive surface with no air gap.  This means that there will not be any other material between the magnet and what it is attracting to.  The receptive surface could be a magnetic receptive metal or a magnetic receptive material such as RubberSteel.  Flexible magnet can be printed directly onto, or have print laminated to it, which makes it an invaluable tool in the sign and graphics industry.  If you are looking to go magnet to magnet, we do not generally recommend flexible magnets, as there are often issues that arise from poles not lining up correctly, causing the magnet to not align as you would wish.  However, there are certain instances where this is commonly used, such as trade show booths.  The flexible magnet used in these circumstances is a special magnet called Matched Pole.  Matched pole comes in limited widths and thickness, it has an A and B side, and they align perfectly every time, making it quick and easy to use. Common applications that utilize flexible strip and sheet are warehouse labels, POS signage, magnetic notepads and trade show booths.

Neodymium Magnets

Neodymium magnets live up to the saying, “good things come in small packages”.  This saying can be taken literally, as these magnets are most commonly used in packaging, and are perfect for creating magnetic closures.  Unlike flexible magnets, neos pack so much holding power into small sizes, that they are perfect for being buried within packaging and still have the strength to create a strong closure.  These magnets are perfect for being able to line up directly with one another, or with a magnetic receptive material buried opposite the neo.  Neodymium magnets are a good choice when you need a lot of holding power in a very small space.  Common applications for neos are packaging or any job where a magnet must be buried between materials, and jobs that require significant holding power.

Ceramic Magnets

Ceramic magnets are not as commonly used, nor nearly as strong as a neodymium magnet.  However, ceramic magnets are a good choice if you have an application that must withstand high temperatures.  Ceramic magnets are a hard type magnet without coating and can maintain their holding power in temperatures up to 400ﹾF.  These magnets are also relatively inexpensive as compared to other hard magnets.  They are often found in many magnetic assemblies such as Round Base magnets, Channel Magnets, and Sandwich Assemblies. When used in these types of assemblies, they are usually surrounded by or sandwiched between steel, which greatly increases their strength.  This makes them a popular choice for applications that require lifting, holding, separating or exposure to high temperatures.

With so many different magnetic options, it may be confusing to know which is right for each different project that presents itself.  Hopefully this summary provides a bit of guidance for choosing which direction to go in.  You can always contact your magnet professional and pick their brain, and don’t forget to ask for samples to try before you buy!

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We all know that February is the month of love, and really aren’t we all looking for our perfect mate?  Like people, magnets are very particular about what other magnets they like to pair up with.  While there is no Tinder for magnets, the article below can help you become the perfect matchmaker when it comes to magnetic pairings so that your projects live happily ever after.

Soul Mates

If an absolutely perfect match every time is what you are looking for, and you can use flexible magnet, then Match Pole magnet may be just what you need.  Match Pole is a two-part, flexible magnet system with an A and a B side that line up perfectly with each other 100% of the time.  This is typically found in a 60 mil thick material and in ½” to 1” widths.  Common applications that use this type of magnet are trade show booths, and anywhere where you wish to match up flexible magnet to flexible magnet.

Opposites Attract

If you are looking to use Neodymium magnets as a set for a magnetic closure, then you will need to make sure that you are aligning the North Pole of one magnet to the South Pole of the other magnet.  Often when creating a closure with neodymium magnets people buy them with adhesive to make assembling their project easier.  If this is the case, be sure to ask for half with adhesive on the North Pole and half with adhesive on the South Pole to make your project simple and effective.  Common applications for this pairing are in packaging where the magnets are buried to create an invisible closure.

Instant Bond 

If you are using absolutely any type of magnet and going directly to a metal surface, your match is a sure thing.  Just be sure that the metal you are trying to attract to is receptive to magnet.  This would include any surface that is steel, iron, nickel, cobalt or has a good amount of iron in the mix.  Going direct to a metal receptive surface gives you a perfect match whether you are using flexible strip, flexible sheet, rare earth magnets, or magnetic assemblies and creates a good solid bond as there is nothing in between the magnet and the surface.

Kindred Spirits

If your application calls for flexible magnet strip or sheeting to be used, but you do not have a metal receptive surface to adhere to, you may want to use a flexible magnetic receptive material.  The advantages to using a flexible magnetic receptive material with strip and sheet is that they will make an   instant lasting connection virtually anywhere you need, and you do not have to worry about aligning poles. Flexible magnet will stick anywhere on flexible magnetic receptive, making this a carefree easy romance between the two materials.  Common applications for this pairing are POP signage, retail displays and menu boards.

As with any great romance, it is important to have things in common, and too many differences usually end up not working out well.  The same is true of magnetic pairings.  When successfully mating magnets together it is important to make sure they are of the same magnet family and strength.  Therefore, you would not want to mix a flexible magnet with a neodymium magnet, or two different strengths of even the same type of magnet with one another.  If one overpowers the other, it will end up draining the other of its magnetic strength, rendering it weak and useless over time.  Hopefully this article ends up helping you to decide which magnetic relationship is right for your project, but your sales rep can always assist in matchmaking for you.

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