The Future Is Magnetic
A Review of the UK Magnetics Society’s Ewing Event 2018
This year’s 31st Ewing Event, organised by the UK Magnetics Society and sponsored by Bunting Magnetics, focused on the important role of ‘magnets’ in the future. Indeed, it is widely recognised that magnetic fields are the ideal, low-energy way for creating motion.
At the event, there were a series of talks from industry experts. They covered a wide range of topics, but the overriding message highlighted the growing importance of magnetic technology. Here are some predictions made by the speakers:
- By 2050, there will be 3 billion cars. All will be magnetic in some way;
- The UK electric grid will be 100% renewable with cars providing energy storage to reduce total grid drain;
- Rare Earth minerals (used in the production of batteries for electric vehicles and Neodymium Magnets for Wind Turbines) will increase in strategic and monetary value. Stockpiling of these valuable minerals is expected;
- The recycling of Rare Earth Magnets will become increasingly important. This will provide a vital and valuable source of magnet raw material;
- The aircraft industry has identified the need to develop high performance electric engines. These could be four-times more energy dense than current jet engines. Such engines would be cleaner for the environment, significantly reducing CO2 emissions;
- The development of Graphene has opened up new technological possibilities. Graphene is an ultra-strong, nearly transparent material that effectively conducts heat and electricity. The material shows a large and nonlinear diamagnetism (materials that are repelled by a magnetic field), greater than that of graphite, and can be levitated by neodymium magnets;
The keynote Ewing Lecture was given by Robert Llewellyn, an electric transport enthusiast. Robert is widely known for producing and presenting Fully Charged on YouTube, front lining Scrapheap Challenge on Channel 4, and playing the character Kryten in Red Dwarf.
As the conference drew to a close, there was no doubt of the important role magnets and magnetic technology would make in the future. This is an exciting time to be involved in the industry.
Bunting Magnetics specialises in providing magnetic solutions. They also sell a wide range of magnets and magnetic components online via their eMagnets UK brand.
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