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Project aims to test super magnets on line

01 February, 2000

Project aims to test super magnets on line

A consortium of European organisations has embarked on a project to develop new techniques for testing permanent magnets. The aim of the four-year project is to produce a system that can test powerful magnets moving at high speeds along production lines. To measure the characteristics of a magnet it is necessary to generate a powerful external magnetic field.

Existing magnetic characterisation systems can generate fields up to 2 Tesla, but the latest, high-strength, rare-earth magnets need fields of 5 Tesla and higher. The consortium - including magnet manufacturers, academic institutions and an instrumentation manufacturer - has completed a feasibility study and has now embarked on the project to develop practical machines.

The aim is to use an embryonic technology, known as pulse field magnetometry, to produce a system that will obtain full MH loops for any current or future magnetic materials, and will be able to process large numbers of magnets rapidly.

The first two years of the project will focus on research, before a pair of demonstration systems are built and tested in different applications. One of the challenges is to develop techniques for handling powerful magnets automatically at high speed. Gloucester-based Mecelec Developments, which has experience of building production equipment that will operate in powerful magnetic fields, is a member of the consortium.




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