Magnetic Separators and Magnetic Separation Equipment

By chameleon | 29 October 2018

What is Magnetic Separation?

Magnetic Separation is one of the most common and important physical separation techniques and there are many varieties of magnetic separation equipment available.  The basic concept of a Magnetic Separation is that magnetically susceptible particles or bodies are separated from non-magnetic particles.  However, the simplicity stops there.  To enable different levels of separation from a wide range materials, there is a extensive range of  different Magnetic Separator designs.

Types of Magnetic Separation Equipment

The magnetic field of a Magnetic Separator is produced using either a Permanent or Electro Magnet.

Permanent Magnetic Separation equipement uses magnet materials such as Neodymium, Samarium Cobalt and Ceramic Ferrite to generate magnetic fields.  Selection of the magnet material for a specific application is dictated by the magnetic material that needs to be separate.  Neodymium Rare Earth Magnets are the strongest permanent magnet and are used to remove fine iron and even stainless steel.  Samarium Cobalt is another Rare Earth magnet and, although slightly weaker in strength, is more robust at higher temperatures.  Ceramic Ferrite is the standard magnetic material and is ideal for designs where the magnetic field needs to be projected at a distance.

large permanent magnet

A steel spanner, nuts and bolts suspended in mid-air by being attracted to a large permanent magnet.

An electro magnetic field is created by passing an electric current through a coil.  The design of the coil will dictate the strength and shape of the magnetic field.

Magnetic Separator Applications

Magnetic Separation is applied widely where materials are being processed.  Typical applications include:


Recovering metal from waste or purifying secondary materials by removing metals is vital for successful recycling.  This is achieved by using Permanent and Electro Magnetic Separators.  Typical examples include:

  • Recovering steel beverage and food cans from household waste;
  • Recovering aluminium cans from household waste;

Mineral Processing and Ceramics

Permanent and Electro Magnetic Separators are used to separate magnetically susceptible minerals.  Examples include:

  • Removing iron bearing minerals from silica sand used in the production of glass;
  • Cleansing feldspar and clay used in the production of ceramics.  Iron can causes defects and discolouration in the finished ceramic product;

Mining and Quarrying

Magnetic Separation plays an important role in the mining sector.  There are two fundamental applications:

  • Removing tramp metal to prevent damage to processing equipment such as crushers;
  • Enhance the purity of the ore by either recovering the valuable magnetic ore or removing unwanted magnetic minerals;

Food Production

A wide variety of Magnetic Separation equipment can be found in most food processing plants.  They are used to remove metal contamination.  This prevents damage to processing equipment and ensures maximum food product quality.

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