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How to choose proper hand tools for NMR/MRI?

               High-field magnet workplaces, such as NMR or MRI, require maintenance and operations on ultra-high magnets. In NMR/MRI rooms, it is important to have non-magnetic hand tools to perform maintenance. To maintain the state of your NMR/MRI room and avoid taking unnecessary risks, the use of NMR safe hand tools at your workplace is absolutely necessary.

However, how to select proper materials for hand tools for non-magnetic purpose?

Metals claimed to be non-magnetic in the market include:

  • the specific type of stainless
  • Alloys of copper
  • alloys of titanium

Those alloys after manufacture some physics properties are altered, including magnetic flux in metals. As for some types of stainless which are claimed to be nonmagnetic, stainless still becomes magnetic after high-pressure and high-temperature casting. Although the strength of the magnetic property is lower than normal iron hand tools, for operating in a high-magnetic environment the potential risk is relatively high.

Alloys of copper that are frequently used for non-sparking non-magnetic tools are Beryllium-Copper (Be-Cu) and Alumina-Copper(Al-Cu). Due to the manufacturing procedure, Al-Cu alloy contains a bit of iron to increase the strength of hardness. Therefore, this alloy is not 100% non-magnetic. Oppositely, Be-Cu still remains non-magnetic property and non-sparking. For the high-magnetic field environment, Be-Cu is much suitable than stainless and Al-Cu.

As for alloys of titanium, it is also a frequently used material. It is also a 100% non-magnetic material. However, it is not a non-sparking metal.

The ranking of the non-magnetic property of those alloys:

  1. Be-Cu and titanium
  2. Al-Cu
  3. stainless

To ensure safe operation in high-magnetic environments, for instance, NMR rooms for 500MHz even higher (higher 9Tesla), Be-Cu hand tools are not only non-magnetic but also non-sparking.

Thus, we choose Be-Cu hand tools for the maintenances of NMR and MRI. Currently, the hand tools we provide are hex-keys with/without ballpoint, long-type, and standard type, and Phillips and slot screwdrivers. They are common tools for NMR/MRI maintenance.

        If you have special wishes for non-magnetic tools, for example, other types of hand tools, please feel free to CONTACT and put your comments on the page. We will contact you personally for your inquiry.