Magnetic Component Engineering

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Disposal of Magnets


Occasionally it may be necessary for you to dispose of magnets. Please observe the following so that you protect the environment, and do not get into trouble with the EPA, OSHA, or violate local, state or federal laws.

Rare Earth Magnets:

These are the Neodymium Iron Boron (NdFeB) and Samarium Cobalt (SmCo) magnets. They are extremely powerful and can easily injure someone if not handled correctly. If the magnets are magnetized, and you have the means of thermally demagnetizing (by taking the magnet to its curie temperature), then you should try and do this. If such means are not available, make sure to use some type of shielding (galvanized steel sheets work well) to line the boxes or containers that will be used. This will prevent the magnets from sticking to the trash containers and such.

Ceramics:

These are easy to dispose of. They are not as powerful as rare earth magnets, but use similar methods. If you can heat treat to curie temperatures, then do so, otherwise shield with steel sheets so as to contain the magnetic field.

Alnicos:

Alnicos are easier to dispose of than rare earth magnets too. However, thermally treating to demagnetize can be expensive since the curie temperatures of Alnicos are very high. Talk to your supplier to see if they want the magnets. Alnico magnets are high in nickel and cobalt content and there is a good chance that it could be recycled, in which case you could send the magnets to your magnet vendor and not have the problems associated with disposal.

Be careful, especially with rare earth magnets. Don't give them to friends, children, employees or others as a means of disposal. Rare earth magnets are extremely dangerous if not handled carefully. Once the magnets leave your facility, you have little control over how they are handled, but you may still be liable if something goes wrong!

If you need further help, please call us. We are here to help you achieve your goals!

The above information is provided to bring to your attention that correct means are required for disposal of permanent magnets. This does not state the law, and it is your responsibility to check the appropriate laws. Local, State and Federal laws should be consulted.