Standards and Regulations for Neodymium Magnet Use
Though neodymium magnets have a strong magnetic field, they are very brittle and require special handling. Several industrial monitoring agencies have developed regulations regarding the handling, manufacture, and shipping of neodymium magnets. A brief description of a few of the regulations is listed below.
Standards and Regulations for Neodymium Magnets
American Society of Mechanical Engineers:
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) has standards for Below-The-Hook Lifting Devices. Standard B30.20 applies to installation, inspection, testing, maintenance and operation of lifting devices, which includes lifting magnets where the operator positions the magnet on the load and guides the load. ASME standard BTH-1 is applied in conjunction with ASME B30.20.
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points:
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) is an internationally recognized preventive risk management system. It examines food safety from biological, chemical, and physical hazards by requiring the identification and control of hazards at certain points in the production process. It offers certification for equipment used at food facilities. HACCP has identified and certified certain separation magnets used in the food industry.
United States Department of Agriculture:
Magnetic separation equipment has been approved by the United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service as being in compliance for use with two food processing programs:
Dairy Equipment Review Program
Meat and Poultry Equipment Review Program
Certifications is based on two standards or guidelines:
Sanitary Design and Fabrication of Dairy Processing Equipment
Sanitary Design and Fabrication of Meat and Poultry Processing Equipment which meet NSF/ANSI/3-A SSI 14159-1-2014 Hygiene Requirements
Restriction of Use of Hazardous Substances:
Restriction of Use of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) regulations limit the use of lead, cadmium, polybrominated biphenyl (PBB), mercury, hexavalent chromium, and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants in electronic equipment. Since neodymium magnets can be hazardous, RoHS has developed standards for their handling and use.
International Civil Aviation Organization:
Magnets are determined to be a dangerous good for shipments outside the Continental United States to international destinations. Any packaged material, to be shipped by air, must have a magnetic field strength of 0.002 Gauss or more at a distance of seven feet from any point on the surface of the package.
Federal Aviation Administration:
Packages containing magnets being shipped by air must be tested to meet established standards. Magnet packages have to measure less than 0.00525 gauss at 15 feet from the package. Powerful and strong magnets have to have some form of shielding. There are numerous regulations and requirements to be met for shipping magnets by air because of the potential safety hazards.
Restriction, Evaluation, Authorization of Chemicals:
Restriction, Evaluation, and Authorization of Chemicals (REACH) is an international organization that is part of the European Union. It regulates and develops standards for hazardous materials. It has several documents that specify the proper use, handling, and manufacture of magnets. Much of the literature refers to the use of magnets in medical devices and electronic components.
Neodymium (Nd-Fe-B) magnets, known as neo magnets, are common rare earth magnets composed of neodymium (Nd), iron (Fe), boron (B), and transition metals.
The two processes used to manufacture neodymium magnets are sintering and bonding.
Neodymium magnets have become the most widely used of the many varieties of magnets.
The magnetic field of a neodymium magnet occurs when a magnetic field is applied to it and the atomic dipoles align, which is the magnetic hysteresis loop.
Neodymium magnets can be produced in any size but retain their initial magnetic strength.