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Permanent Magnets Used in Plastic Industry

The use of permanent magnets in different manufacturing processes is a common practice in today's manufacturing industry. The most important use of magnets is in the removal of metal contaminants from plastic products. Meanwhile, magnets play important roles in other industries, such as the electronics, mining, and foundry industries. The plastic industry also uses magnets integrated within the plastic parts manufactured. The magnetic assemblies are useful in many applications, from home appliances to aviation. This article takes a closer look at how magnets are used in the plastics manufacturing industry and the different types of magnets commonly used in making plastic products.

Overview of Magnets in Plastic Manufacturing

Just like steel was the material of the 19th-century plastic, can very much be regarded as the material of the 21st century. This is because plastic has many useful properties and is used in almost every application, including electronics, automobiles, kitchen utensils, plumbing fixtures, product packaging, domestic and industrial tools, etc. One reason why plastic is highly preferred in diverse applications is that it is highly moldable. This property makes it a highly sought-after material. Today, the production of plastics involves magnets, which help to improve the quality of the finished plastic products. Plastic products made using magnets have higher economic value and play a fundamental role in the larger global economy. To make plastics, the oil extracted from crude oil is processed. The processed oil is thereafter refined in a highly controlled process to make the plastic. The process of refining and manufacturing plastics actually differs depending on the type of plastic that is being produced. Special techniques may also be used to create specific types of plastic products for special applications.

Magnetic Separators for Removal of Impurities in Plastic Productions

The role played by magnets in plastic production is seen throughout the production process of plastic materials. The machines used in the process (calendars, cutting shredders, etc.) are protected along the production chain by different sets of magnets. This allows machines like the injection molding machinery, extruders, granulators, and mills to perform optimally, leading to the production of high-quality products.

Plastic bottle

Also during the mass production processes of other materials and components, magnets function as a tool for effectively fixing, handling, and transporting molds. There are different magnetic equipment that is used in the plastic industry. But they mostly serve two different purposes;

  • As a mechanism to separate the parts of molds that may have broken and hence, free of damage to the entire production, and cleaning this type of impurities from the assembly line.
  • To remove metallic contaminants or adhered metallic particles that could be present in the feeding belt.

This incorporation of magnets for the removal of impurities from plastic components leads to the creation of durable and flexible products. The finished products are therefore suitable for application in medicine, the automotive industry, aviation and research, and most recently, in studies relating to green energy and climate monitoring.

Types of Magnets Used in Plastic Production

During the treatment or modification of plastic in a manufacturing plant, there are magnets of various models, such as magnetic grills, magnetic filters, or magnetic separators. In the absence of these magnets, the plastic produced could be contaminated by unwanted elements that could compromise the purity and integrity of the plastic components. Common products include:

  • Granulator Plate Magnet: This helps your plastic regrind operation from tramp metal contamination.
  • Vacuum Line Magnet: This is applicable in vacuum systems, often located between the Gaylord and the vacuum loader. The Vacuum magnet captures ferrous tramp contaminates, providing equipment protection and improved product purity without obstructing resin flow.
  • Magnetic Grates: These are also known as grate magnets or hopper magnets. They ensure the separation of ferrous tramp bins, chutes, drawers, hoppers, and circular enclosures.
  • Drawer-In-Housing: This magnetic separator is also known as Drawer Magnets or Grate In Housings,. They are made up of rows of round magnetic tubes, assembled into drawers contained inside a housing.

Generally, these magnets can be ferrite magnets, neodymium magnets, etc. Today, there are different magnetic separation products on the market which are suited for different production processes. In some applications, where magnetic separation technology may not be sufficient, it could be complemented with metal detectors or electrostatic separators. Every material flow is different, as each process step ensures a cleaner final material. Hence, in designing a separation setup for any manufacturing process, it is important to consider the properties of the material of interest, which in this case, is plastic.

About the author

Cathy Marchio

Cathy Marchio is an expert at Stanford Magnets, where she shares her deep knowledge of magnets like Neodymium and Samarium Cobalt. With a background in materials science, Cathy writes articles and guides that make complex topics easier to understand. She helps people learn about magnets and their uses in different industries, making her a key part of the company's success.

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