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Let's say I have a flat metal sheet lying on the floor and I want to lift it straight up with a disc magnet. The magnet cannot tilt, which means that the sheet must stay in a horizontal position during the lift operation.

So, if the magnet is put on the sheet's center of gravity, the minimum lifting force is mass times gravity. That's easy, but how do I go about calculating the required force if the magnet is put anywhere else?

My thoughts are that I need to calculate the force that would prevent the sheet from leaning and then add it to the weight, but I don't know what formula to use. I can always measure the distance from the magnet to the sheet's centroid, so I think the first step is to calculate the moment of force. But then I don't know how to proceed, or how the radius of the disc magnet comes into play. Can anyone help?

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Magnets behave very differently when a torque is applied to the magnet or the interacting object. Pulling the item away from one edge of the magnet will drastically reduce the amount of weight the magnet can hold. The best thing to do for this would be to test it in your application. Things like material thickness are going to play a part in how much force the magnet will create.

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