MAGMENT is a German-based startup that produces magnetizable concrete material — either cement- or asphalt-based. CEO Mauricio Esguerra describes the company’s patented technology, which shows the mechanical properties of conventional concrete due to the embedding of ferrite particles used as magnetic aggregates. These ferrite particles are obtained from recycled material from the ferrite industry and electronic waste.
Udo Bormann: What is the story behind MAGMENT?
Mauricio Esguerra: I am originally from Bogotá, Colombia. I moved for my studies to Munich and now hold a degree in physics from the Technical University München. As a passionate physicist, I worked for more than 20 years for Siemens. Now, I have over 30 years of experience in the field of soft magnetic materials and applications. Together with Ralph Lucke, who holds a doctorate in ceramics, I founded the startup MAGMENT (MAGnetic ceMENT) in 2015 to work on and improve magnetizable concrete. This patented magnetized concrete can be used in a variety of different applications, such as: power inductive components, dynamic inductive wireless charging, inductive cooking and heating, low-frequency and high-frequency shielding and EMC, as well as electric motors.
Udo: What was the reason for you and your cofounder to launch MAGMENT in 2015?
Mauricio: We realized that especially the inductive components used in many electronic projects are either oversized or not the perfect fit for the individual project. Usually the project was built around the inductive components. This “inductive components headache” was the starting point of MAGMENT. The idea was to create a material which is easy to form and still has a good performance. Another point of fact was that during the time at Siemens and EPCOS, we already worked on magnetizable material and had to consider the strength. As is the case most of the time in science, it was more of an accident that we combined magnetic materials with cement. The first idea was to combine plastic with magnetic material, but that didn’t work out, so we tried other materials until we had the perfect fit. We now have more than 20 years of development process behind us.
Udo: How can MAGMENT fight this headache?
Mauricio: First, the magnetic cement uses raw materials from recycling. That makes it really cost efficient and highly magnetic. Second, the magnetizable concrete technology offers a flowable material which is very robust and stable with a long lifetime and can take any shape necessary. Third, we have a newly developed, customer-friendly software tool — MAGMATH. This online design software solution for custom magnetics is free to use. The software is project orientated, which means customers can fill in their electrical, dimensional and temperature requirements and the program generates and calculates the inductive component needed. In the next step, the customer can choose if he wants to reduce the costs or improve the performance. Finally, the customer can order a sample and build it in his or her project.