Traditional doesn’t always mean better. Take for instance the transition from film cameras to digital ones, or the shift from landline telephones to smartphones. In the realm of magnet testing, a similar transformation is underway. While pull testing has long been the go-to method for assessing magnet strength, a more accurate and reliable method on the rise is Gauss testing. Keep reading to learn how this ground-breaking method is poised to revolutionize the way you conduct your magnet validations.
The Two Main Types of Magnet Testing
In the food processing industry, there are two popular methods of magnet testing—pull testing and Gauss testing. Let’s look at them in more detail:
The Pull Testing Method
Pull testing, also known as breakaway force testing, is a common method used to measure the magnetic strength of a magnet, based on how much pull force the magnet has. So, how does pull testing equipment work? It involves attaching a small steel test ball to the surface of the magnet. From there, a test plate is positioned to create a specified working air gap between the plate and the magnet. Gradually, force is applied to the fixture until the magnet breaks away from the plate.
The Gauss Testing Method
Gauss testing is an advanced magnet testing method designed to accurately measure the strength of magnetic fields produced by magnets and magnetic assemblies.
Gauss testing uses specialized electronic instruments called gauss meters, which are designed to capture magnetic field readings, or magnetic flux density readings, at specific points on the magnet’s surface.
When deciding on the magnet testing method, it is important to note that the most efficient magnet will have the highest Gauss at the shortest distance between pole band centers, rather than the magnet showing the highest pull test value.
For even more precise readings, multi-channel Gauss meters are used, which simultaneously record magnetic fields at multiple points across the magnet’s surface.
Is Pull Testing Really Outdated?
Although pull testing is still used in certain industries, it’s now considered less accurate and is no longer accepted in the current HACCP International MAGSEP Standard as a basis for certified final magnet validations for the food processing industry.
The reason for this lies in the limitations of pull testing, as this method can often yield unreliable results due to factors mentioned above, as well as:
- Surface irregularities
- Operator technique
These introduce inconsistencies, which makes it challenging to obtain precise measurements of the magnet’s strength. On top of that, pull testing focuses solely on the breakaway force required to separate the magnet from a working surface. This narrow approach overlooks other crucial aspects of a magnet’s performance, such as its magnetic field distribution and stability over time.
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4 Reasons Gauss Testing Is Better Suited for Food Processing Applications
Unlike pull testing methods, gauss testing takes a more comprehensive approach. By evaluating the entire magnetic field produced, it delivers a more realistic assessment. And yes, while this broader analysis allows operators to make more precise adjustments, that’s far from the only advantage. Here are four more:
1. Gauss Testing Provides Quantitative Results
Gauss testing has another big advantage over pull testing: it gives you quantitative results. When you measure the magnetic field strength in Gauss, you get precise and numerical data that truly reflects the magnetic properties of a material. Pull testing only gives a qualitative evaluation of the magnetic field, which may not be enough when comparing types of magnetic separators or tracking their performance over time.
2. Gauss Testing Is Less Subjective
When it comes to pull testing, results can be influenced by the operator’s interpretation and technique, leading to inaccuracies and inconsistencies. But with Gauss testing, the human factor is less of a risk. This magnet testing method offers an objective measure of performance. The data gathered is reliable and easily comparable, reducing the margin of error and enabling consistent, repeatable testing of magnetic properties.
3. It Can Monitor Magnetic Separators Over Time
Gauss testing is a fantastic tool for keeping an eye on the performance of your magnetic separators as time goes on. By consistently measuring the magnetic field strength, you can establish a baseline and closely monitor the efficiency of your separators. This proactive approach enables you to catch potential problems early on.
4. It Enables Magnet Testing Across ConfigurationsWhether you’re dealing with plate magnets or liquid pipeline separators, Gauss testing suits various types of equipment. Gauss testing provides a more inclusive approach, as pull testing might not be suitable for some types of magnetic separators due to physical limitations.
Embrace a New Era of Efficiency With Magnattack®
Magnattack® understands that pull testing falls short of delivering accurate results. That’s why we’ve embraced the power of Gauss testing, coupled with third-party endorsed reporting, and we’re proud to be part of a select few in the industry to do so.
Don’t settle for outdated methods when you can join us in the new era of efficiency. Schedule your Gauss magnet test today, and let’s take your production efficiency and food safety to the next level.