The words ‘Magnet’ and ‘Recycling’ might not appear to be related, but they are key in our drive towards environmental protection.  So how does that work?

Permanent Magnets have been used to identify and recover ferrous metal for hundreds of years.  In the 3rd world, people in poverty still use magnets when they trawl through rubbish tips to identify ferrous and non-ferrous metals, which they then sell.

Rubbish_Dump_Manila_Philippines
People trawling through rubbish looking for materials to sell in Manila, The Philippines
Notice Board Magnets
Notice Board Magnets used to check steel cans

There have also been many school recycling initiatives where school children are given small Magnets to check and collect Steel and Aluminium Cans, which are then sold to raise money.

On a far more advanced level, Ferrite Magnet Blocks are used to make Magnetic Separators like the Overband Magnet.  The Magnet blocks are built up inside a stainless steel box before being charged to become magnetic.  The Overband Magnet is then suspended over conveyors to attract and separate steel like Used Beverage Cans (UBCs) and Baked Bean tins.

Magnets are even used to separate non-magnetic materials such as Aluminium UBCs.  How does that work?

The separation occurs due to Fleming’s Left Hand Law in a machine called an Eddy Current Separator, which has a multi-pole, strong magnetic rotor spinning at high speeds.  When aluminium enters the field, a current is induced and this current produces a magnetic field which is in opposition to the rotating field.  This results in a repelling action which literally throws the aluminium away from other non-metallic materials such as plastic bottles and paper.

Magnets and Magnetic Technology have made metals the most recyclable of all materials in our waste stream and are absolutely key as we strive to reclaim and recycle more of our waste.  Magnetic Separators and Eddu Current Separators will be on show at the waste handling show called Waste 16 held at the AJ Bell Stadium in Salford on 9th June 2016.

For more information on how Magnets are used in the Recycling Industry please contact us on:

Phone:  +44(0)114 276 2264

Email:  sales@e-magnetsuk.com