Posted on 27th August 2020 in the categories: Magnetics

Unexpected Uses of Magnets

Unexpected Uses of magnets

When most think of a magnet, chances are they picture a fridge decorated with postcard magnets or perhaps snapping a magnetic pen on a dry erase board. While highly common, these are extremely simple uses of magnets. In this article, we are sharing some of the most unusual ways magnets are used all around us.

Defoaming a beer

The foam on top of a beer is a result of fungi infecting the barley grains at the beer’s malt base along with surface proteins called hydrophobins. When hops, an antifoaming agent, are added, the hydrophobins bind to the hops before getting to the barley. Scientists found that when a magnetic field is applied to to malt beer infused with hops, the magnetism caused the hops to spread out into smaller particles, making it a successful antifoaming agent.

Removing the taste from “Off-Tasting” wine

That unpleasant flavour you may experience with leftover or expired wine is often caused by a chemical compound called methoxypyrazine. After extensive experiments, researchers found that this compound could be removed from the wine. The use of bar magnets resulted in magnetic nanoparticles attaching to the researchers’ polymers. In simple terms, those polymers were then manipulated to target and remove the methoxypyrazine compounds.

Protecting cows

Magnets are often used by farmers to prevent Hardware disease, also called bovine traumatic reticuloperitonitis. When cows eat, they do not detect objects in their mouth which leave them prone to swallowing dangerous metal objects like nails or wire. This may lead to punctured organs, causing pain and even death depending on where and how far the object travels.

To prevent this, farmers place a single “cow magnet” in the stomach of a cow. The magnet attracts any metal objects to prevent them from travelling further through the body. Farmers also try to keep wire and other metal objects out of the cows feed. Therefore, many animal food processing systems use magnetic separation to filter out any possible metal fragments.

Magnetic shark barrier

Researchers from the University of Stellenbosch found that a magnetic barrier they call SharkSafe, both swimmers and sharks can be protected without harming them or marine life. The concept is that the barrier would be made of a shield of permanent magnets placed in protective tubes. When a shark tries to cross over it, it would be repelled by the applied magnetic field. This repulsion would cause no harm to the sharks, just brief discomfort that is equivalent to a human hearing a horn. The theory is that certain species of sharks are repelled by magnetic fields. This is reportedly due to the sensory organs that they have, which include a series of electroreceptors that line the head of sharks and detect electromagnetic fields.

Goudsmit UK

At Goudsmit UK, our industrial magnets are backed by over two decades of manufacturing experience. From sensors to magnetic filtration and separation devices, our precision engineered components are used in a wide variety of industries. Our extensive knowledge and resources coupled with continuous innovation have made us a preferred industrial magnet manufacturer. Contact us today for more information at Or you can also speak to a member of our team on +44 (0) 2890 271 001.

For more information, visit our webpage or download brochure here.

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