A magnetic separator is a device that uses a magnet to remove impurities and other magnetic materials from metal. Magnetic separators can be used before, during, and after production of a material and can be adjusted to attract different types of magnetic materials at varying levels of intensity. Magnetic separators are used for a wide variety of applications, though their use is almost always industrial in nature. Magnetic separators can be either ferromagnetic or paramagnetic and can range in size from a tabletop version to a large, heavy drum that is used in recycling and other manufacturing applications.
How a Magnetic Separator Works
A magnetic separator consists of a powerful magnet that is either laid down or suspended from a ceiling or device. Materials can be passed over a tabletop magnetic separator while suspended magnetic separators often dangle above a material in order to extract its impurities. Magnetic separators can also be cylinders that objects are passed through. The material that a magnetic separator purifies can be in the form of parts, a finished product, or even liquid metal.
Magnetic separators are often used for industrial purposes such as recycling and manufacturing. They are also found in scientific laboratories that often require metallic materials that are free of impurities (often the case in chemistry). In this case, the magnetic separator is usually a cylinder or flask that prevents cross-contamination between two different substances by forcing either all or some of the magnetic materials from one substance into a separate container.
Magnetic separators are often powerful, portable, and can be adjusted to remove varying types of magnetic materials from a liquid or solid. They are most effective when used on a liquid, although the removal of solid impurities is also possible. Magnetic separators are quite versatile and incredibly simple in design. In fact, a basic magnetic separator can be built at any time, using only a powerful magnet and a clamp to hold the material down.
The main disadvantage of magnetic separators is that they must be consistently maintained. The magnetic separator must be washed or wiped down in order to remove magnetic materials that have accumulated, while oil must be added to any moving parts. In the case of an electromagnetic separator, the electromagnet must be able to be turned off at any time in case of an emergency.