Is It Okay to Microwave a Neodymium Magnet?
The microwave is often regarded as an essential appliance in the kitchen and by far the most used machine in the house. The importance of having a microwave in the kitchen can’t be overstated because, one way or another, most of the food you eat will involve using a microwave. As we all know, food is essential for human existence – In that, we humans can’t do without eating, hence why we can’t question the importance of microwaves in the household.
It’s also worth noting that the microwave does far more than its primary objective, which is to warm food: it can also be used to cook a range of foods such as Chicken quesadilla, Macaroni, cheese, and more.
Is It Okay to Microwave A Neodymium Magnet?
Over the last few years, there have been arguments regarding Neodymium Magnet and the microwave. There have been extensive arguments that putting a magnet on a microwave is safe, while others believe it is unsafe. Therefore In this piece, we shall address this confusion and set the record straight.
Microwaving a Neodymium Magnet won’t cause any issue. The only noticeable effect is that the magnet will become hot. In fact, the magnet will remain precisely on the spot where you placed it.
Also, there has been zero scientific proof to support the claim that placing a magnet on the oven will interfere with the magnetrons’ function.
Overview of Microwaves
The microwave, commonly referred to as a microwave oven, is one of the most used appliances in the kitchen. A microwave is an electric oven that does two essential things in the kitchen: it can be used to heat cold food before consumption. And additionally, it can be used to cook a range of foods, particularly high water content food items.
The history of the microwave is fascinating because it is widely believed that the microwave oven was invented by accident! In the early 1940s, some inventors already knew what microwaves could do. The problem most of them faced was that they couldn’t figure out how to get it to work. Then comes a particular Percy Spencer, a self-taught engineer from Howland, Maine – An employee at Raytheon. It’s worth noting that Raytheon was an engineering company that the U.S government contracted to build Magnetrons way back in the early 1940s.
As mentioned previously, the invention of the microwave was purely by accident. Back then, Percy Spencer was a leading expert in radar tube design. Around 1945, he was in his workspace working on a powered radar set when he noticed the chocolate bar in his pocket was already melting. After seeing this, he suddenly became intrigued by what he had just seen and decided to work extensively on this.
To test what he had just discovered, he performed two tests. First, he decided to put popcorns on the microwaves, to which the popcorns popped almost immediately. He also exposed a whole egg to microwaves, which basically exploded.
Before experimenting on food, he attached a high-density electromagnetic field generator to an enclosed metal box (now known as the oven) – This move made safe experimentation possible.
How Microwave Technology Developed
The first commercially available microwave was released in 1947. Then in 1952, Raytheon teamed up with Tappan to produce the first home-compatible microwave.
In 1955, Tappan alone produced the first microwave that could be used for domestic purposes. This version includes features such as a timer, a recipe drawer, and others. Through the 1960s, two versions were released, and in the 1970s, microwaves had already found their way into the homes of most Americans, overtaking gas cookers in the process.
And lastly, going by recent statistics, well over 90% of Americans now use microwaves in their homes.
Types of Microwaves
Since the release of the first microwave in 1945, the electric oven has undergone several changes. All these changes have led to the production of different types of microwaves.
- Over-the-range microwaves: As the name implies, this type of microwave is placed in-between the cabinetry above the cabinet. These microwaves usually offer ventilation, comprising Charcoal and grease filters.
- Low-profile microwaves:This type of microwave is just like the over-the-range microwave. They are also mounted slightly above the range or cooktop. Although the microwave looks compact, it still possesses powerful cooking and venting features.
- Built-in microwaves: If you are trying to manage the space in your house, a built-in microwave might be the right one for you. Typically, built-in microwaves are installed in a wall or within existing cabinetry. Aside from the fact that it helps to conserve space, it also gives the house a feel of elegance.
- Countertop microwaves: This microwave is typically placed above your kitchen counter. Their flexibility gives them an edge over others, i.e., you can move them from one place to another.
- Smart microwaves: Advancement in technology has brought about innovative changes in how things are being operated, and microwaves are not left out of this. Smart microwaves have Wi-Fi features, plus they can be remotely controlled. Cooking has never been made easier!
Other types include;
- Under-counter microwaves
- Countertop microwaves
- Wall oven and microwave combinations
Can Neodymium Magnets Ruin Microwaves?
The simple answer to this question is NO – putting a Neodymium Magnet in your microwave won’t ruin it as long as the microwave in question is fully intact – That is, it is not leaking any microwave energy. There have been several experiments on this concern. At each experiment, neither the neodymium magnet nor the microwave became defaulted. Even though the neodymium magnet got hot, it could still attract ferromagnetic objects, meaning that the microwave did not heat it beyond its max operating temperature.
How Does Temperature Affect Neodymium Magnets?
Only a handful of Magnets out there can operate at high temperatures. Among these magnets are neodymium-based ones (NdFeB). They excel in both cold and high temperatures. They become more potent when the temperature drops below room level to about -130 ° C.
They can also be exposed to high temperatures for an extended period before their properties change, and they start losing their magnetism, either temporarily or permanently. It has been observed that neodymium magnets lose 0.11 percent of their magnetism every time the temperature rises by 1 degree Celsius.
Usually, a loss of magnetism in some neodymium magnets is temporary and can quickly be recovered when subjected to intense cooling, provided the maximum operating temperature was not exceeded.
Conversely, if the maximum operating temperature is exceeded, the lost magnetism will not be recovered, and the performance of such a magnet will deteriorate.
Here is a table demonstrating the temperature resistance of neodymium magnets: