Smashing a huge magnet - The making-of

How our slow-motion video with monoliths came about
Author: supermagnete, Uster, Switzerland, [email protected]
Table of Contents

Slow-motion video

Our strongest block magnet MONOLITH has an adhesive force of 200 kg. To better showcase its enormous strength, we smashed all sorts of objects in between two MONOLITHS and filmed the whole thing with a high-speed camera. The result is quite impressive:
Below we'd like to present to you the making-of of this video.

Safety precautions

  • Put on helmet, protective glasses, work gloves, long-sleeve clothing
  • Keep a large safety distance to the colliding magnets
Seriously: These magnets are really intense and very dangerous, so it is imperative to review the safety tips.

Material needed

2 wooden panels, adhesive UHU MAX REPAIR, screw clamps
1 MONOLITH was glued to the smaller wooden panel, which was then screwed together with the larger panel (in our case the green one in the picture). Thereafter, the larger panel was securely attached to the table with the screw clamps.
Rubber hammer and wooden wedge to separate the magnets, strong hoover to vacuum up the sorry remains of the victimised objects.
Are you gloating, Matt?
Are you gloating, Matt?
Innocent victims - in our case bones, syrup glass, porcelain figurines, an egg and dry pretzels. We purchased the porcelain figurines at a good price at a second hand store.
Respect the magnet...
Respect the magnet...
At least 5 victim monoliths with glued-on wooden handle, which ensures safe handling and that the magnets collide upright and don't tip over on the way.
Why do we call them "victim monoliths"? Well, none of them survived the severe collisions without damage - especially the corners and epoxy coating took a beating.
High-speed camera in position
High-speed camera in position
High-speed camera, 2 other cameras for recording of sound and normal speed.
Good lighting, massive table, cover foil for the whole room, plexiglass to protect people and cameras.
Sounds time-consuming? Oh yeah, it was! But now we can finally start with the collisions.

Scattered bones

What remained of three boiled chicken bones that were glued to the monolith was just brown bone splinters. But also the monolith lost a corner.
Attached with adhesive paste
Attached with adhesive paste
Moment of impact
Moment of impact
Bone splinters and damaged corner
Bone splinters and damaged corner
Bone remains after successful magnet separation
Bone remains after successful magnet separation

Smashed glass with syrup

To keep the mess contained we placed a protective plexiglass over the glass with red syrup. This was only of limited help; sticky syrup and glass shards landed all over the place, regardless.

Pulverised birdie

This little porcelain bird couldn't even stand to look; it closed its eyes already before the impact.
The moment of impact: A brutally uneven fight
The moment of impact: A brutally uneven fight
It could only be identified by its bow: Unfortunate birdie
It could only be identified by its bow: Unfortunate birdie

Burst egg

Since we had an idea that this collision could get messy, we protected the camera with a plexiglass plate, which was a wise decision. It would have been even smarter to protect our clothing and the wall from splatter as well.

Pretzels explode

Even three pretzels next to each other didn't stand a chance against the full force of the monoliths.

Fat gander is getting his share

Time for a real challenge: This ceramic gander was at least 8 cm thick. We had bets running if this was going to work. But the monoliths showed us once again.

Fragmented porcelain flower

This porcelain flower didn't have the slightest chance:
The sorry remains of the flower
The sorry remains of the flower

Separating magnets

Only rubber hammer, wooden wedge and considerable effort could separate the MONOLITHS. We gladly let Matt do this. We had to hold down the table to be able to separate them.

Finale: Monolith vs. Monolith

We created sparkling fireworks when we let two MONOLITHS smash into each other. Surprisingly, the magnet on the right that was screwed on barely had a scratch while the left magnet shattered.

The good, the bad and the ugly

The mess created by these collisions was substantial. Especially bad was the burst egg, which made its way through the entire workshop and up the ceiling, and the sticky syrup mixed up with glass shards, which could only be cleaned up with work gloves. Hence, the idea to cover the floor and protect the cameras with plexiglass turned out to be great.
Egg yolk splatter all over the workshop
Egg yolk splatter all over the workshop
Egg yolk splatter on floor, shoes and equipment
Egg yolk splatter on floor, shoes and equipment
Raspberry syrup mixed with glass shards
Raspberry syrup mixed with glass shards
It was a lot of fun though!
It was a lot of fun though!

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