Magnets are normally viewed as substances which have the property to attract metals like iron, nickel etc. Their major role in a layman’s life may have been in a science laboratory in school or college. However, very few people know about magnet technology. Magnets have emerged as important components in various industrial fields like conveyor belts, cell phones, electric motors and generators, credit/debit, ATM cards, speakers and microphones, televisions, LCDs and so on. Magnetic technology has found diverse applications by providing assistance at construction sites for material handling, assistance in drilling etc. Many construction companies use magnets for cleaning up their construction sites. New kind of magnetic sweepers have emerged as an efficient tool in this field.
Magnets and magnet technology are playing vital role in various fields. To begin with transportation their use has been found in the form of Magnetic levitation transport or maglev which is a form of transportation that suspends, guides and propels vehicles like trains though electromagnetic force. These trains are found largely in countries like China where the magnetic technology is very well developed. Magnets are also used in various types of electromagnetic toys.
Magnetic technology has also led to the development of magnets as fail safe devices for some cable connections like in laptops many a times magnetic power cords are used to prevent accidental damage to the port when tripped over example the MagSafe power connection to the Apple MacBook. Coming to the industrial use of magnetic technology these are widely used in conveyor belts. These conveyor belts are specifically used in plastic recycling to move plastic parts by conveyor to a grinder.
The entertainment industry also makes use of magnets as there are VHS recording tapes which have magnetic tape used to encode the video and audio. TV and computer screens contain a cathode ray tube which employs an electromagnet to guide electrons to the screen. Magnets are also used in speakers and microphones as most speakers employ a permanent magnet and a current carrying coil to convert electrical energy into magnetic energy.
Some high tech uses of magnetic technology has also been found in new type of residential windows by a Japanese company that self-darkens itself to provide privacy to the home owner.
Not only these are used in big industries and large machines, magnets are found in almost every item of our day to day life be it cell phones or toys or even smart cards. Magnets are also used largely in the health care industry wherein hospitals use them for MRI scans which shows detailed information of the human body.