10th of 10 Magnetic Separation Myths
The Magnetic Separator has done its job and captured that potentially damaging item of ferrous metal. Now it is time to remove the captured metal from the surface of the Magnetic Separator. It should be easy, shouldn’t it? However, due to the high magnetic power cleaning metal off a Magnetic Separator is becoming increasing difficult and a health and safety concern.
So, is it possible to make the cleaning process easier?
One of the most used Magnetic Separators is the Cartridge or Tube Magnet. The diameter of the tube is commonly 1 “ or 25.4mm and the length can vary enormously. They are used in a wide range of Magnetic Separator designs such as Drawer and Grate Magnets and can be supplied in a range of strengths for different applications such as:
- Ferrite – The lowest strength and good for general tramp iron such as nuts and bolts
- Rare Earth – The strongest magnet and is ideal for fine ferrous contamination and abraded stainless steel;
As already mentioned, the most common problem for users of high strength, Rare Earth Tube Magnets is cleaning. The magnetic field is so strong that removing captured metal from the surface of the Tube Magnet can be very difficult and a health and safety risk. So how can the captured metal be removed? Here are a few examples, some of which may be a little unorthodox:
- Use a heavy cloth and push the captured metal along the tube surface to the non-magnetic end where it will then discharge. A heavy cloth is recommended as shards of metal may penetrate the cloth;
- Use heavy duty gloves and a similar technique to the heavy duty cloth, although using PPE for such applications should be discussed with your Health and Safety Officer;
- Use putty or a similar substance as the metal on the surface of the Tube Magnet becomes embedded in the putty. You may need to move the putty along the Tube surface from points of high to low magnetic intensity;
- Fit a rubber sleeve over the Tube Magnet before installing into the process line. Metal is captured on the outside of the rubber sleeve and when it is rolled off the Tube Magnet, the metal is removed at the same time;
Techniques that are not recommended are:
- Using high pressure water. This may move metal around the surface of the Tube Magnet from the point where the water is striking the surface to the opposite side, but does not effectively clean the magnet;
- Using high air pressure, where the same problem as with high pressure water occurs;
- Using high pressure water and air also poses health and safety risks;
- Rubbing metal off with an unprotected hand. This can result in injury with metal becoming embedded in the surface of the skin;
Cleaning the Cartridge or Tube Magnet is important as it ensures that optimum separation performance is maintained. Any cleaning process will need discussion with your Health & Safety Officer and we provide free help and support. For further details on cleaning or on the range of Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors supplied by Bunting, please contact our technical sales team on:
Other Magnetic Myths reviewed in this series include:
- Should You Always Use the Strongest Magnet?
- All Rare Earth Magnets are not the Same;
- The Highest Gauss Magnet is not always the Best;
- Stainless Steel Isn’t Magnetic, or is it?;
- Do Magnets Lose Strength Over Time?
- Is a Magnetic Field Uniform Across the Surface of a Tube Magnet?
- We Guarantee 100% Metal Separation
- You Can Block a Magnetic Field
- Magnetic Separators are Not Dangerous?!!?