Electro-Permanent magnets

Electro-permanent Magnets 101

What are they?

Electro-permanent magnets Battery operated lifting magnet 8 ton capacity

Electro-permanent magnet (EPM) is a type of magnet that combines both electromagnets and permanent magnets to function. It leverages the benefits of these two types of magnets to create a system that can be controlled—i.e., switched on and off—using an electrical current, but does not continuously require power to maintain its magnetic state.

Here's how they work

1. Activation: An electric pulse is applied, which rearranges the magnetization of the system, causing it to produce a strong magnetic field. After this pulse, the magnet becomes “permanently” magnetic, similar to a permanent magnet.

2. Deactivation: Another electric pulse, often in the opposite direction, is applied. This rearranges the magnetization again, this time nullifying the magnetic field, turning the magnet “off.”

drawing of square pole ElectroPermanent technology in a magnetic chuck in demagnetized state
drawing of Electropermanent chuck in magnetized state


1. Safety: EPMs retain their magnetic state even in the event of a power loss, making them particularly safe for lifting applications where dropping a load could be disastrous.

2. Energy Efficiency: After activation, no continuous power is required to maintain the magnetic state, unlike conventional electromagnets.

3. Control: The ability to switch the magnet on and off provides control over its operation.


Electro-permanent magnets are widely used in various industrial applications:

Lifting Magnets: For lifting heavy metallic objects.
Magnetic Chucks: Used in metalworking machines to hold workpieces.
Robotic Systems: For pick-and-place actions.
Magnetic Clamps: For holding pieces during welding or assembly.

Electro-permanent magnets offer the best of both worlds, providing the strength and reliability of a permanent magnet and the controllability of an electromagnet.

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