All magnets and magnetic equipment come with a pull force rating represented in pounds in the product description. But what exactly is pull force and what does the number represented in pounds actually mean?
The pull force determines the magnet’s strength. Note that some product descriptions may mention the pull force as well as the field strength, but they are not the same thing. The pull force is the amount of force needed to pull the magnet off of something else, such as a flat steel surface. Pull force can be expressed in pounds, Newtons or kilograms and is a reliable method of measuring its holding power.
Magnetic mount lights, for example, can have different pull force ratings depending on the size and application. Some can have a pull force of 100 pounds while others may list 200 pounds. This number is a great indicator of how strong the magnet is. The higher the number in pounds, the stronger the magnet and the greater the force necessary to pry it away from a flat steel surface. Keep in mind that several factors also have an impact on the pull force and magnet strength, such as the grade of metal, angle of the pull and the condition of the flat surface that is holding the magnet.
A magnet’s strength can be tested in various ways, such as conducting a vertical pull test. During a vertical pull test, the magnet is attached to a plate that has a hook and measuring device on it that slowly pulls the magnet upward. When enough force breaks the magnet away from the plate, the measuring device records the pounds pull. The test is repeated a few times to establish the most accurate pounds pull rating for the magnetic device; in this case, the magnetic mount light.
If the magnetic mount light has a pull force of 100 pounds, that means that it takes 100 pounds of force to pry the magnet from the surface it is stuck to. If the magnetic mount light has a pull force of 200 pounds, then it would take 200 pounds of force to pull the magnet from the surface. A magnet with a higher pull force means that it is a stronger magnet.
The strength of a magnet is not determined by the overall size of the magnet either, so a larger magnet does not necessarily have a bigger pull force than a smaller magnet. When several magnets are used together, naturally the pull force increases. This is helpful if you have a large shelf, for instance, that needs to be able to hold a heavy amount of weight. Several strong, 200-pound magnets can be used to hold up the shelf, giving it extra support. However, it is important to understand that the pull force in pounds is not the amount of weight a magnetic device can hold.
Whether you are looking for magnetic mounting equipment for industrial or commercial use, Larson Electronics offers a wide range of magnetic mount equipment, including magnetic mount lights.