Magnets feature in numerous applications, from electronics to furniture. However, they weaken over time and can be strengthened under certain conditions. How you proceed will largely depend on the type or nature of the magnet you wish to strengthen.
Magnets exhibit different properties. They can be diamagnetic (weak), paramagnetic (intermediate), and ferromagnetic (strong). Also, you need to consider their magnetic field, flux, and the moment when trying to strengthen any form of a magnet.
This guide is a compilation of the various ways you can strengthen magnets and how to measure the strength of magnets. But before I jump on that, I would like to walk you through the various types of magnets (based on their internal structure).
What Determines the Strength of a Magnet?
Key factors that determine the strength of a magnet include:
Big magnets generally have more power and can generate a stronger magnetic field than smaller ones. This principle is supported by the fact that you can stack magnets together to increase their strength.
The materials that make up a magnet have a way of influencing its behavior. As a result, magnets can be diamagnetic, paramagnetic, or ferromagnetic.
When a magnet is made of materials with little to no unpaired electrons, such magnets are diamagnetic. They are weak, produce negative magnetization, and rarely have magnetic moments.
Paramagnetic ones contain unpaired electrons. Hence, they display partial alignment under a magnetic field, generating positive magnetization.
Ferromagnetic materials such as nickel, iron, and magnetite are permanent magnets. They exhibit superior alignment that allows easy exchange of forces (up to 1,000 Teslas).
The degree of temperature (especially heat) a magnet is exposed to can also help determine its strength. In other words, powerful magnets will last longer than weaker ones if they are subjected to the same temperature level.
5 Ways to Make a Magnet Stronger
Magnets naturally become weaker over time. To strengthen them, you may need to opt for any of these options:
1. Stack them together
Stacking magnets together is one of the most common ways to fix or strengthen a weak magnet. Aside from improving the strength of magnets, this option ensures magnets don’t lose their strength easily.
2. Change the position of the magnet
Some magnets become weaker upon exposure to heat or radiation. A good example is the fridge magnets. Since refrigerators are often located in the kitchen, they get repeatedly exposed to heat from different sources such as stoves or ovens.
This heat will gradually affect the strength of such magnets. Moving these weak magnets to a cooler environment can help them recoup some (if not all) of their strength.
3. Place it in a refrigerator
This differs from the first option because it precisely involves storing weak magnets in a freezer for at least 24 hours.
This is because the freezing temperature will slow down the kinetic energy in the magnets and give room for the proper rearrangement necessary for a concentrated magnetic field.
4. Recharge with a stronger magnet
This is where understanding the nature of magnets is important. Weak magnets can be recharged by bigger magnets, especially paramagnetic ones. All you have to do is run them against each other using linear strokes for about 15 minutes.
Once the weaker magnets tap enough power to realign with their domain, there is a high chance it has regained some of its original strength.
5. Strike it with a hammer
This is very effective for iron-bar magnets. The process requires striking one end of the magnet with a hammer to realign the magnetic domain of the weak magnets.
However, before you commence this procedure, you must place such magnets in a water bowl (with the material attached). This helps the magnet twirl in the water for a while.
Once there is no more movement, and each end of the magnet points north, remove it and place it on a hard surface in the same north-south position. Hammer one end of the magnet repeatedly and measure the strength afterward.
How to Measure the Strength of a Magnet
Now that you know how to strengthen magnets understanding how to measure their strength is even more important. With this knowledge, you can be sure whether the procedure worked. To measure the strength of a magnet, you need a gauss meter.
This device measures the strength of a magnet via the magnetic field or magnetic flux (in Teslas or Webers). The procedure involves:
- To relocate the magnet to an area without a magnetic material such as microwaves or computers.
- Place the gauss meter on one end of the magnet.
- Check the needle on the gauss meter and see where it points to. Most gauss meters have a range of 200 to 400 gauss, with a negative side on the left and a positive one on the right.
- The further the needle moves right or left, the stronger its magnetic field. However, a magnet with a 0 gauss means no magnetic field.
How can you remagnetize a magnet?
Remagnetization means introducing a weak magnet to a stronger one to help it regain its magnetic force.
The strong magnet can be a neodymium magnet.
What is the lifespan of a magnet?
The average lifespan of a magnet is 100 years.
This means it should not lose more than 1% of its strength over 100 years if you maintain it.
Can you reverse the charge of a magnet?
Yes, you can reverse the charge of a magnet.
The process requires a battery and copper wire and may require several attempts to be successful.
Magnets naturally lose their strength over time. How you strengthen them will depend on finding out the major cause of their weakening and your ability to readjust the domain alignments of magnets. This may require stacking multiple magnets together, hammering such magnets, or changing their location.
Also, before choosing a magnet, you must be aware of its materials, the size you need, and how much temperature it will be exposed to. These factors can help you worry less about strengthening your magnets regularly.
I hope you found this guide helpful. Permanent magnets like neodymium magnets can generate electricity but not for long. To better understand this concept, check out my guide on how neodymium magnets generate electricity with copper wire.
Thank you for reading.