Preventing Catastrophe: Magnets Used in Breakaway Gas Pumps
It’s well known that magnets are often used to prevent unwanted and unpleasant events like break-ins and car accidents. But what about explosions? If someone goes to a gas station to fill up and gets distracted, they may try to drive away with the gas hose still attached to their tank. This one moment of thoughtlessness can lead to catastrophe.
Most gas station owners have at least a few stories of people driving away with the gas pump still attached to their car, sometimes taking the hose right along with them. It’s a common enough occurrence that the industry designs pumps for the situation called breakaways.
Traditional breakaway pumps function almost like a lizard tail — separating into two pieces with enough force is applied. However, traditional technology is often designed for single-use, and requires upwards of 350 pounds of pull force to separate for inspection. This shortens service life and increases the business owner’s maintenance costs.
The Magnetic Option
In recent years, designers have created a magnetic version of the breakaway pump, with two rare earth permanent magnets being inserted into each side of the breakaway. Since the magnets are extremely strong, they will hold the two ends together, but they can be separated by one person with two wrenches in a twisting motion. This allows for gas station attendants to service the technology on the spot — cleaning, lubricating, etc. — whenever necessary.
Also, because these permanent magnets are sealed and not exposed, they are not affected by corrosion or the elements, and they maintain their original strength.
If you would like to discuss what type of Apex magnets could be used in this kind of breakaway design, give us a call at any time of day at (1-304) 257-1193. Already know what you want? Then use our customized search bar to look for a specific size, strength, shape, and type. If you still can’t find your perfect magnet, fill out a custom magnet request form and we’ll be in touch.