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 Post subject: Magnet Questions
PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 6:34 pm 
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I have some questions about magnets. I am asking these question because I'm not sure how thin I should make a magnet piece of a puzzle, or where I can obtain the piece after it is designed.

I know that magnets are molded pieces of metal that are then magnetized, but will only remain magnetic permanently if you run it through some process that involves running electricity through it while its heated before you magnetize it fully. This changes the orientation of the molecules in such a way that they won't want to return to their normal orientation after being magnetized.

I was wondering how the physical strength of the magnets compare to the strength of the metals they are composed of. In other words, does the process of making metal into a magnet weaken the metal?

Does anyone know a place where you can buy magnets that you design the shape of, (kind of like shapeways) or a place that will run a piece of metal through the permanent magnetizing process for you?


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 Post subject: Re: Magnet Questions
PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 11:03 pm 
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Location: Green Bay, WI
K J magnetics has almost every shape of magnet that you might need.

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 Post subject: Re: Magnet Questions
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 12:19 am 
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They do have a lot of sizes, but I'm wanting a very specific shape. I'm making the centers out of magnets, not just embedding magnets in parts. You'll see why If I ever finish designing my cube.

Also, I noticed shapeways says their stainless steel is 70% steel and 30% copper. I know there is nickel (this strengthens the chromium oxide layer) in it because they mention it when talking about allergies. Stainless steel has to have at least 10.5% chromium (the chromium forms and oxide layer that stops the steel from corroding) to be considered stainless. Since steel refers to an alloy anyway, I'm thinking that they included this 10% when they say steel, but really it would then be 70% stainless steel mixed with 30% copper.

I was wandering if their stainless steel is actually stainless, and whether it is magnetic. Copper is not magnetic and nickel cancels out magnetism, so it doesn't sound like it will be magnetic, but it might depending on how much nickel is added.


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 Post subject: Re: Magnet Questions
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:27 am 
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Location: Jarrow, England
In principal you could probably magnetise SW steel, but I don't think it would be very strong. Also, I am not sure how the laser sintering/baking process affects the crystal structure of the finished material.

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 Post subject: Re: Magnet Questions
PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:29 pm 
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I know you cannot turn shapeways steel into a magnet. Only certain compounds can become a permanent magnet. I was just asking if shapeways steel is magnetic as in attracted to magnets. If anyone has a piece of shapeways steel, can you try sticking a magnet to it?

Also, I would much prefer to make the whole center a solid piece, but I see that that's not going to happen, so I will have to modify the design to fit a magnet in the piece.


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 Post subject: Re: Magnet Questions
PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:01 pm 
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If it is steel it will always be magnetic. Steel has iron in it and iron is always magnetic. Steel cannont be steel without having iron in it.


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 Post subject: Re: Magnet Questions
PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:05 pm 
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I recently printed something in bronze and it sticks to a magnet quite well. Bronze shouldn't so there is clearly some sort of iron scaffolding or substructure in the printing process. My bet is that all their metals (except maybe silver?) use iron and will all stick to a magnet.

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 Post subject: Re: Magnet Questions
PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:14 pm 
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I have something printed in SW steel, and it is definitely attracted to a magnet. But this was printed about three years ago and if they have changed their process ...

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 Post subject: Re: Magnet Questions
PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2013 10:08 pm 
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garathnor wrote:
If it is steel it will always be magnetic. Steel has iron in it and iron is always magnetic. Steel cannot be steel without having iron in it.

This is false. Regular steel is magnetic. Stainless steel will usually not be magnetic. You can go around with a magnet and test it on all of the objects you know are steel. You will find that most are not magnetic. You can try stainless steel kitchen utensils as an example.

As I mention earlier, for steel to be stainless, it has to have chromium in it. Many times there are many other metals in it as well, usually nickel. On the surface of the metal, the chromium reacts with the oxygen before the iron does and it forms a chromium oxide layer over the surface of the metal which is a pretty nonreactive compound (as it has already reacted and balanced itself out) which prevents rusting. Adding nickel to this strengthens the bond between the chromium and oxygen making the chromium oxide layer stronger and the nickel also cancels out some of the magnetism of the iron. It is not only nickel that has this effect (manganese, nitrogen, and carbon do as well), but nickel is by far the most commonly used for this purpose. The reason for this is that metals (such as manganese and nickel) will cause the steel to form a face centered cubic (fcc) atomic structure, which is not very reactive and is not really effected by magnetic fields. This being said, magnetic stainless steel is not quite as corrosion resistant, but it still is somewhat. I have found this from multiple sources.


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 Post subject: Re: Magnet Questions
PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 4:35 am 
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The appropriate term for "magnetic metal" is ferrous and pretty much everything with iron in it is ferrous. There are a few special iron alloys with a metal crystal structure that makes it non-ferrous but how that works is quite complicated and requires special engineering to make. Unfortunately I can't remember any non-ferrous iron alloy names right now.

Edit: Austenite

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