A Guide to the Different Shapes of Magnets

Magnets are available in a wide range of shapes and sizes. The difference in the shape and dimension of the magnet lends it a distinct set of magnetic properties, affecting its benefits and drawbacks. Knowing these advantages and disadvantages is the key to selecting the right kind of magnet for your application. Let us discuss the different shapes of magnets in South Africa and their properties: (Information source: https://badgemags.com/our-products/magnets/)

1. Bar Magnets – Bar magnets are magnetised throughout their length, creating a long magnetic field. The magnet also offers enough surface area to hold it easily. However, in a bar magnet, the poles are located towards the end, meaning that the weakest point of the magnetic field is right in the middle of the magnet. Thus, bar magnets are not a good choice for applications where you rely on its length to hold something.

2. Block Magnets – The block magnet is possibly the best choice you can make if it suits your needs. It offers a greater amount of magnetic pull as compared to disc magnets and is one of the most versatile kinds of magnets in South Africa. Using block magnets, one can even create an entire wall by placing them side by side in an alternative fashion, which can be used for holding tools and supplies.

3. Cube Magnets – These magnets are very easy to handle and are an ideal choice for classrooms and offices. They are widely used on artwork displays and whiteboards. One major disadvantage of cube magnets is that all sides look similar, it is difficult to differentiate the north and south poles. Thus, if you use cube magnets, you should mark the poles.

4. Cylinder Magnets – In a cylinder magnet, the entire surface of the magnet offers a strong magnetic pull. For applications where you need to hold the magnet in your hands, a cylinder magnet is the best choice as it provides a good amount of space to hold the magnet. Owing to this, cylinder magnets are the most popular choice in applications like finding metal studs during construction etc.

5. Disc Magnets – Disc magnets serve as an all-purpose magnet offering good surface contact and featuring a low profile. They offer a nice blend of all beneficial magnetic properties and fit easily in most applications. Disc magnets can be easily found in most real-world applications ranging from fridge magnets to badges and fashion applications.

6. Sphere Magnets – The shape of the magnet is both its advantage and its disadvantage. Due to its shape, sphere magnets offer the highest gauss reading. However, the absence of a flat surface makes it difficult to grab it. Therefore, they are used in very limited applications outside classrooms and other research applications.

These are the various shapes of magnets popularly used in South Africa. When choosing a magnet, you should know the advantages and disadvantages offered by the magnet and select one that offers you the most functionality for your application.

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