What is a Lifting Magnet?
A lifting magnet or magnet lifter as they are sometimes referred to as is a piece of lifting equipment that is designed for lifting ferro-magnetic materials such as steel.
Steel is produced from a mix of several metals, producing an alloy; the main ones being iron, nickel and manganese, these substances and their compounds are ferro- magnetic . However some types of stainless steel are not magnetic because of their make up. Metals with different make-ups have differing abilities to hold magnetism, so for materials other than mild steel (which this article mainly refers too) such as; high carbon steels, cast iron and ferrous alloys a reduction in the lifting capacity must be applied, this varies between the materials, so always refer to the lifting magnet manual.
Industrial Lifting Magnets
Buy lifting magnets from leading brand names from Lifting Gear Direct; including Eclipse magnets, Bux battery magnets & Yale magnet lifter models. Our range also includes a number of magnetic grabs and claws for easier manual handling of steel sheets. So whether you are looking for a permanent lifting magnet or a battery magnet you can find them all here. Other plate lifting equipment on our website includes plate clamps and plate dogs.
A lifting magnet is a manual device and can be operated by a single person; they are able to create an extremely powerful magnetic field enabling it to grab the steel securely. However the steel must be clean and smooth for the optimum secure hold; if the steel is rough, dirty or badly machined, or even covered in paint or dust, then this can cause air gaps where the magnet will not hold, even if small these air gaps will have a significant effect on the magnetic force and so will be reduced.
A magnetic lifter requires full contact with the steel surface, so for poor surfaces, air gaps and other factors; the lifting capacity will need to be reduced.
The thickness of the steel plate also needs to be thought about as some magnets have a minimum thickness that they can safely lift.
A lifting magnet is an easy device to operate, they are commonly used attached to a hoisting device; the magnet is simply placed onto the steel surface and the lever locked down, this creates the magnetic force. Don’t forget to ensure the magnet is placed about the centre of gravity to produce a balanced lift; more than one magnet lifter may be used together for larger materials. Permanent magnets, battery magnets and hand held magnetic grabs / claws are all available from Lifting Gear Direct.
The full lifting capacity of the lifting magnet can only be accomplished if the magnet makes full and total contact with the load being lifted, If the contact surface (i.e. sheet steel) has holes in or maybe has an uneven, distorted or rough surface then the performance will be affected accordingly.
The Contact Area for a Magnetic Lifter
You should always carry out a trial lift, (slightly raised) in these circumstances to confirm that the load is safe and correct prior to completing the transport of the load to its intended destination.
Air Gaps:The high magnetic forces that are produced by the TPM permit the magnet to clamp components throughout the air gap, nevertheless air gaps will reduce the magnetic performance since they supply a barrier amid the contact surfaces.
Air gaps can occur in various ways such as paint, dust, and heavy mill scale; surfaces which have not been machined very well can also constitute an air gap. You should down rate the magnets capacity accordingly, as recommended.
Using a Lifting Magnet Safely.
As with all lifting devices, safety is imperative, so here are some basic tips for ensuring optimum safety whilst using a lifting magnet.
- Ensure the crane or hoist’s hook is suitable for the magnet and the SWL is appropriate.
- A load suspended with a lifting magnet should not be left unattended for long.
- Test / trial lifts should always be carried out to ensure the hold is secure.
- When more than one lifting magnets are used together to lift larger objects then a spreader beam should be used for stability.
- Ensure the surface of the steel is in good condition to prevent air gaps.
- Never lift or move loads whilst people are in the area of movement.
- Never magnetize the magnet lifter (by locking the handle down) without a load.
- Never de-magnetize the device (by raising the handle) until the load has been completely set down.
- If lifting round objects like pipes the lifting capacity will be reduced as full contact will not be made.
- NEVER use a magnet lifter around medical equipment, pacemakers and/or insulin pumps, as the magnetic force can cause the equipment to fail.
A lifting magnet should be inspected and serviced at least every 12
months to confirm its safety for use, however a visual check should be
made by the operator prior to each use checking for any issues which may
affect its performance, things such as cracked housing, broken handles,
damaged suspension eyes should be looked for and it should be clean and
clear of dust and debris.
Battery magnet liftersOur line up of lifting magnet models which are powered by onboard batteries includes the likes of the BUX BM1350. While specifications vary, these products share a few features in most cases. This includes a rechargeable battery solution that allows the lifting surface to be magnetised and applied to sheet metal for easy handling. Many examples also offer remote control capabilities, which improves convenience and keeps operators safe during use.
Stand-out models like the Eclipse battery activated lifting magnet are noteworthy because they are designed to prevent unexpected drops. Once the magnet is activated via the battery, it will remain permanently magnetised whether or not it is powered. It is also able to cope with curved surfaces, rather than being limited to use with flat materials.
Magnetic grabs & clawsExcellent portability and impressive power is provided by the lifting magnet equipment found in our magnetic grabs & claws range. They can allow workers to manoeuvre sheet metal manually without relying on a separate lifting assembly.
The Yale THM magnetic claws are a good example of this, providing a straightforward way to create a gripping point on a piece of metal that would otherwise be awkward to handle. There is no need to spend a lot of time maintaining these claws, since they are designed to operate almost indefinitely without succumbing to wear and tear. This makes them reliable as well as practical.
The Eclipse magnetic plate grab is similarly capable in design and operational parameters. It weighs just under 3kg in total yet offers the ability to pull loads weighing up to 170kg without losing its grip. For a lifting magnet this compact, such abilities are worth celebrating.
battery powered lifting magnet models, a permanent lifting magnet will
have the magnetism toggled via a built-in handle. These are typically
intended to be used in conjunction with a separate piece of lifting equipment, such as a hoist, in order to take care of the heavy loads
that they are rated to handle.
Permanent lifting magnets
A popular and powerful permanent lifting magnet that we stock is the Yale TPM 1.0. It can be used with sheet materials weighing up to 1 tonnes, as well as with cylindrical loads of 500. The unit itself is compact and tips the scales at 60kg and it is always sensible to stick to guidelines on safety when deploying lifting magnet solutions like this.
Lifting kit for every occasionIf you order a lifting magnet from LGD, why not include other equipment that you need to get your operations moving more quickly? We have a huge host of accessories and loose tackle, as well as lifting slings, crane and gantry systems and much more besides.
As well as stocking a lot of different branded equipment and components, we can make assemblies in-house that combine a lot of these parts so that you can conquer challenging lifting scenarios without having to put everything together yourself. This ensures the ultimate in both performance and convenience.