What are the parts of flexible magnetic tape?

 
     
     
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 Parts of flexible magnetic tape: magnet, adhesive and laminate 
     
   

Magnetic poles

 
   

Flexible magnetic tape can be magnetised in three ways; axially, diametrically or in the form of a multi-pole magnet.

 
     
 Axially and diametrically magnetised flexible magnetic tape through the depth of the tape 

Axially and diametrically magnetised

An axially magnetised magnetic tape is magnetised through the length of the magnet, whereas a diametrically magnetised magnetic tape is magnetised through the diameter. 

 
     
 Magnetic bookmark made with two pieces of flexible magnetic tape 

Axially magnetised magnetic tape can only attract ferromagnetic materials to either the top or bottom large faces of the magnet which can be used if you need to attach one magnet to another rather than to a ferromagnetic surface. This is particularly useful when creating a magnetic bookmark as the two magnets will attract each other holding the bookmark to the page. 

 
     
 A and B profile, north and south pole, magnetic strips 

Axially magnetised flexible magnetic tape can be either an A or B profile. This refers to whether the North pole is on the top or the bottom of the flexible magnet. An A profile magnet has the north pole on the top magnetic face, whereas a B profile magnet has the South pole on the top.

 
     
 Production planning board 

These tapes are described in this way to allow you to purchase the two profiles of magnetic tape. This allows the two flexible magnetic tapes to attach to each other without any magnetic resistance. This is particularly useful for when you are using a production planning board, which is a form of magnetic white board where information is constantly moved around depending on the stage of production an object, for example a house, is at during the construction process.

 
     
 Seam-free flexible magnetic tape  

Diametrically magnetised flexible magnetic tape, on the other hand, will attract ferromagnetic materials from either of the two thin sides along the depth of the tape. This is useful for craft projects or fridge magnets where the user does not want a visible seam in between each section.

 
     
 Multi-pole magnetic mounting pad - three north poles and three south poles 

Multi-pole magnets

A multi-pole flexible magnetic tape has only one face magnetised in the form of a multi-pole magnet.

 

Multi-pole magnets are magnetised in a striped pattern of alternating north and south poles e.g. north, south, north, south. 

 
     
 Multipole flexible magnet with a lot of magnetic poles 

Multi-pole flexible magnetic tape can have between 2 and 60 magnetic poles per inch. The more poles per inch a magnet has, the greater its holding strength, but the reach of the magnetic field is reduced. This creates a strong magnetic field close to the magnet to give it a greater holding power. Flexible magnetic tapes with a large thickness have fewer poles per inch as the strength is already increased due to their size. 

 
     
 Laminated flexible magnetic tape 

Flexible magnetic tape with adhesive or laminates on one magnetic face require multi-pole magnetisation, due to the barrier the laminate and adhesives create, preventing the magnetic field from escaping through the top of the magnetic tape.

 
     
 Attaching a piece of cut flexible magnetic tape with no adhesive to a metal pillar 

Multi-pole magnetisation allows the flexible magnetic tape to stick to either another multi-pole magnet or to a ferromagnetic material. This would not be possible if the magnet was magnetised in any other way.

 
     
   

Laminate

 
 Flexible magnet with laminated layer 

The flexible magnetic tape can be laminated on its non-magnetic side, whilst the other side is magnetised in a multi-pole formation. The laminate is attached to the flexible magnet with the help of powerful adhesives; this means that the laminate cannot be removed from the magnet without a large amount of force.

 
     
 Coloured PVC sheets 

Flexible magnetic tape is laminated with polyvinyl chloride (PVC) to give the tape added strength and stability. PVC is used as the laminate for flexible magnetic tape as it will not crack when it is flexed.

 
     
 Wonkee Donkee says "Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a type of plastic with added plasticisers to make it flexible" 
     
 Laminated flexible magnetic tape 

Laminating the flexible magnetic tape also improves the magnet's visual appearance. A non-laminated flexible magnetic tape is a dull brown colour whereas a laminated flexible magnetic tape can come in a large range of colours. This is particularly useful for arts and crafts projects.

 
     
   

Adhesive

 
 Magnetic tape cut into strips with labelled adhesive 

The adhesives on a flexible magnetic tape are laminated onto the non-magnetic face of a multi-pole flexible magnetic tape. This means that the magnetic capabilities of the magnet are not affected and allows the magnet to hold onto non-ferromagnetic materials, such as a wooden door.

 
     
 Premium adhesive on a piece of cut flexible magnetic tape 

The type of adhesive used on a flexible magnetic tape is a synthetic adhesive made from acrylic. The acrylic adhesive is high tack which means it is able to hold more securely to different surfaces.

 
     
 Foam adhesive on a flexible magnetic tape 

There is also a type of flexible magnetic tape with an added foam layer in between the adhesive and the magnet which can be used on uneven surfaces. This foam layer aids the magnet by forming itself around any lumps and bumps, but keeping flexible magnet level.

 
     
 Peeling backing tape off flexible magnetic tape with labelled adhesive 

To stop the adhesive from sticking to surfaces when the magnetic tape is not in use, a backing tape is used to protect it.

 
     
 Wonkee Donkee says "When using a flexible magnet with adhesive, make sure there are no contaminants on the surface, e.g. dust, to ensure a secure hold" 
     
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