Your source for force

MSA Magnetics Newsfeed

The role of magnetic separators in timber recycling

magnetic head pulley conversion magnetic separator

MSA is a proud supplier of Overband Magnets for the timber recycling industry and has worked closely with clients to improve metal separation and product purity challenges and increase production speeds. Although Overband Magnets are a popular choice in the timber recycling industry, MSA has another solution for the task: The Magnetic Head Pulley Conversion. Read this blog post to find out about the MSA Magnetic Head Pulley and the role of magnetic separators in timber recycling.


Magnetic separators play an important role in the timber recycling industry, which is why it is important to select magnetic solutions that will prove the most effective. In comparison to the popular choice – the Overbelt Magnet, the Magnetic Head Pulley has up to three times more surface intensity, along with mechanical advantages of pulling tramps down to the belt as opposed to up through a moving burden. Additionally, using a Magnetic Pulley allows for high belt speeds, as belts can be run faster, resulting in increased production and productivity.


magnetic head pulley magnetic separator

The MSA Magnetic Head Pulley allows for more consistent collection of small tramp metals, such as staples and nails. With this magnetic separator, we can confidently say that the Magnetic Pulley will pay for itself – and fast!


The main purpose of installing magnetic separators in timber recycling applications is to achieve greater product purity.

When it comes to timber recycling for garden products, such as bagged woodchips, processors need to conform to their contracts in order to avoid litigation. This means that their product has to be pure! In these cases, an effective magnetic separation solution is an absolute must – it will increase production productivity and help those companies purify their product.

For applications where presses are used to make wooden boards, the end-goal is the same. The recycled product needs to be free of metals in order to supply end-users with quality materials.

In both of these applications, the Magnetic Head Pulley would outperform the Overbelt Magnet. Let’s dive into how this magnetic separator works:

Magnetic Head Pulleys operate much the same as non-magnetic Head Pulleys, except that the metal pieces are discharged separately to the non-magnetic product stream.

As the product stream reaches the conveyor discharge point, ferrous metal is attracted to the pulleys magnetic field and held to the belt. As the belt moves around the pulley, the non-magnetic material is discharged in a normal trajectory, however, the ferrous metal is still held to the belt. When the belt passes out of the magnetic field, the magnetic material drops off into a separate chute or bin to the rest of the product. A non-magnetic splitter may be installed to separate the two discharges.

magnetic head pulley conversion magnetic separator magnetic head pulley magnetic separator


The alternative metal separation solution for timber recycling: The Overbelt Magnet


This magnetic separator achieves effective metal separation and increases product purity in timber processing. It can be supplied in self-cleaning and manual-clean options, with the latter option being available with a stainless steel drawer which allows for simple and easy cleaning.

Our self-cleaning magnets are designed, tested, and assembled in Australia using as many local components as possible. We take extra care to use locally sourced non-proprietary bearings and motors. This is because we know many of our customers operate in regional or remote areas and need to be as self-sufficient as possible. We understand downtime costs you money and things need to happen fast. Our intention is to supply you with a robust and reliable unit that is serviceable using mainstream locally sourced consumable components such as bearings and motors, shafts and belts.

overbelt suspension magnetic separator


For increasing product purity in your timber processing/recycling plant, contact our friendly team.

MSA Magnetics – Your Source For Force

Are you aware there are deep field and shallow field Lifting Magnets available?

Deep field (Passive Shunting) Lifting Magnets have been used for many decades in Australia. In the last ten years shallow field (Active Shunting) Lifting Magnets have been gaining in Popularity.

To understand why we need to look at the differences and what that means in the workplace.

Deep field magnets are generally durable robust pieces of equipment, but many people are not aware that they will only lift their advertised capacity at the depth of their magnetic field.

This depth varies between sizes. An average PML 500kg magnet has a 40mm deep field. This means it is only rated to lift 500kg if the material you are handling is 40mm thick. If the material is 20mm thick this 500kg magnet is rated to lift 350kg.  A 1-tonne deep field magnet typically has a 60mm deep field, so on 20mm material thickness, it is rated to lift 350kg which is the same as a PML 500kg magnet.

A shallow field magnet rated to lift 400kg has a 12.7mm deep field so it can lift 400kg of 12.7mm material. When you are handling 20mm plate it is still rated to lift 400kg.

Interestingly, most deep field magnets are not rated to lift material less than 10mm thick while many shallow field magnets are rated on material as thin as 0.5mm thick.

So, what that means in the workplace when you are using deep field magnets, is there is more potential to mismatch the magnet to the load.

A mismatch like using a 1-tonne PML with a 60mm field to lift 15mm plate will result in the lever being very hard to actuate and very hard to turn off. The lever will be very forceful on release resulting in a risk of wrist injuries.

Furthermore, a calculation is required by the operator to ensure the magnet is rated to lift the material at the given thickness.

Using a shallow field magnet on material from 0.5mm to 25mm thick will ensure that the levers actuate in a gentle manner, reducing potential wrist injuries while reducing the risk of operator error due to misunderstanding their magnets capacity on various thickness’s.

At MSA we supply both types and are looking forward to offering advice on which type suits your requirements.

Leave Reply

Find Your Nearest Distributor

Make an enquiry