Uses of Magnets in Transportation

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Sam Allcock

Magnets play a huge part in a wide range of applications ranging from industrial to research. Magnets also range in size from the smallest barely-visible magnetic particles to huge industrial magnets used in industrial applications.

Magnets offer many benefits in the transportation and automotive industry. Let us take a look at a few applications of magnets in transportation.

Magnets in automobiles

Magnets are an indispensable component in automobiles and are used in various aspects of building one. Door locks to seat belt detection to car roof applications and ABS braking systems to tracking systems to sensors to window wipers and electric windows are just a few features where magnetic technology has been utilised in automobiles.

Magnets in an assembly line

The use of magnets is not exclusive to the automobile itself. Magnets have been used widely to hold heavy automobile parts in the production line in an automobile manufacturing process. Auto-manufacturing units install heavy-duty magnets to lift hefty components of the vehicle, including the engine, outer shell and doors, which help to keep them still for fittings, whilst managing the workload.

Magnets in garages and car repair units

Magnets are also used in garage service units to hold the automobile during repairs or to hold tools.

Remove impurities from the road

Transport industry uses magnets to sweep the roads and airport runways to remove any scrap metal that might damage the tyres of the aeroplanes.

Magnets and conveyor belts

Permanent magnets are extensively used to build conveyor systems. These conveyor belts can be then used to transport ferrous materials like steel items, tins, lids, cans, etc., in industrial units. They can be also be used in upside-down applications; the magnetic strength lets it to hold on to any ferrous material.

MagLev – Magnetic levitation

One of the most important uses of magnets in transportation is a phenomenon called magnetic levitation. Magnets have brought a big change in the way humans would travel in the future. Magnetic levitation trains, also known as MagLev trains, use a travelling magnetic field to propel and levitate a train, creating a faster, safer, eco-friendlier and more efficient method of transportation.

Unlike the conventional trains that run on wheels and tracks, MagLev trains literally float on the tracks or guideways without ever touching them. Both the track and the underside of the train have magnets attached and the magnets on the guideway repel the magnets placed on the train, allowing the train to float above the track. Magnets are also placed on the sides of the train. This is to keep the train from not toppling onto the track or preventing it from leaving the track. 

The transport industry will continue to demand new and better magnets for various applications.

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