Published 14th Dec 2023
The Role of Thickness in Printable Magnetic Materials
Printable magnetic materials open creative signage opportunities through their ability to adhere to metal surfaces like retail displays.
When working with these versatile magnet sheets, thickness is the critical consideration that impacts pull force, print quality, printer compatibility, and handling.
Selecting the proper thickness for your printing application and method will ensure optimal results with magnetic materials. We provide more info below.
Thicker magnetic materials tend to possess a higher saturation point, allowing them to hold and sustain stronger magnetic fields. This translates to an increased pull force as compared to thinner materials.
The physics behind this lies in the alignment of magnetic domains within the material; thicker materials offer more volume for these domains to align uniformly, resulting in a more potent magnetic force.
So as a general rule of thumb (although not always the case) if you’re needing to have a strong magnetic connection in your printed magnetic graphics, you’re going to want to go for a thicker material. That’s why generally speaking our Kinetix MS600, 600mic magnetic sheet is most popular. It has a good balance of not being too heavy, but also has a strong pull force.
Magnetic sheet thickness determines what printers you can use. Thinner magnetic sheet materials of around 600mic can work in basic inkjet printers, while thicker printable magnetic sheets generally require a wider clearance.
Most commercial wide-format inkjet printers can print magnetic sheet materials up to around 0.60mm thick like Kinetix MS600. Of course, weight of the roll is also a key factor too, as printers have limitations on the weight of materials they can process.
Thinner materials down to 0.3mm like Kinetic MS300 have wider compatibility with smaller home printers. Always check your printer’s thickness capabilities before selecting magnetic media – your project depends on it.
The thickness of the magnetic sheet impacts ink drying times and saturation into the vinyl top coating. Thinner materials often yield better inkjet print quality since the ink penetrates the vinyl quicker without beading on the surface before drying.
However, thickness variation should not affect the overall vinyl coating adhesion, provided you ensure proper print head height adjustment for a focused ink droplet. You also need a non-ferrous transport path when using inkjet printers.
Thinner magnetic sheets typically provide a smoother surface – thicker options can warp or bow more during printing with excessive moisture, leading to unwanted banding or lines in the printed graphic.
Working with high-quality magnet media minimises these effects for crisp, professional prints even on thicker products recommended for durable applications. Slowing the print speed also allows more time for proper ink bonding.
Special precautions when printing magnetic materials
When handling thicker magnetic sheets, be aware that the strong magnetic attraction can damage electronics and impact print feed mechanisms.
Keep magnetic stock separated from devices and printers and take care of loading sheet feed trays because the extra rigid nature of thicker magnetic media can lead to jams. Proper environmental control is critical – magnetic materials are more prone to static and moisture impacts affecting printing and magnetism.
And perhaps most importantly, magnet is inherently heavy, and can weigh up to 140kg, so ensure proper lifting equipment is used to avoid any operator injuries.
The possibilities are endless for magnetic media when you pair the right printer with a magnetic sheet thickness optimised for your needs. Test print quality before longer production runs to dial in environmental conditions, print mode settings, media handling, and all other factors for high-quality results.
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