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Camper Vans and Thermal Blackouts

Cotton herringbone webbing (Apron Strings)

Case Study:

A customer, who had purchased some flexible magnetic strip from us, and was experiencing problems.  The customer stated that he wanted to put the magnetic strip inside the cotton herringbone binding webbing (apron strings) around the edge of the thermal blackouts.  Unfortunately, because flexible magnetic strip is the weakest of all permanent magnets, is really only intended for making fridge magnets and requires direct contact with steel or matching flexible strip, he’d instantly come across a problem.  Putting a single layer of of the webbing between the flexible strip and a steel surface meant that it wouldn’t hold its own weight.

Considerations:

As with all such issues, we have a series of questions that we need to answer before we can point our customers in the right direction.  In this instance we asked:

Stitchable Magnetic Buttons

Stitchables!

  • What are the maximum dimensions you can work with?
  • Could you use stitchable magnetic buttons?
  • Does there have to be fabric between the magnets?
  • Are the magnets going to hold any weight?

We had already pre-selected the stitchable magnetic buttons as a potential solution because they are encased in a 29.5×29.5mm PVC shell which means they are washable and in view of the way they were going to be used, being washable was a consideration.  The customer responded as follows:

  • I want them to roll up when not in use so ideally no more than 30 x 10 x 3mm.
  • How big are the stitchable magnetic buttons.
  • Ideally I wanted the magnets to be hidden.
  • Two of the thermal screens will be 40g plus the weight of the magnet, two of the screens will be 20g plus the weight of the magnet.

Recommendation:

Neodymium block magnets

Neodymium block magnets

The information from the customer indicated that the maximum width of 10mm meant that the stitchable magnetic buttons would not a viable solution, however, the weight was light so this gave other options.  We recommended 10x10x2mm neodymium blocks which we know from experience are used by the makers of camper van blinds to hold the blinds to the side of the van.  We selected these because  they were small enough to fit into webbing while allowing for significant gaps between each magnet to allow the thermal blackouts to be rolled when not in use.  They were also strong enough to hold the weights given.

The customer duly bought the 10x10x2mm neodymium blocks and later some 20x6x1.5mm neodymium blocks too.

 

 

 

Results:

Two small thermal blackout covers

Large thermal blackout blind

Today, we received a message advising that our solution had worked and worked really well.  The customer used the 20x6x1.5mm blocks on the vertical edges and the 10x10x2mm blocks along the horizontal edges.

On the larger ones, they had used ten of each spaced along the horizontal edges to provide sufficient hold to keep the thermal blackout blinds in place.  The spacing has indeed allowed for the screens to be rolled up and stored when not in use.

Recognising that the magnets are strong, the customer has cleverly added loops at the corners to aid in removing the thermal blackouts and they are a very neat and tidy solution to the problem.

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Posted in Helpful information, Neodymium
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