Single and multi-track magnetic heads write and read magnetic information that can be further processed for many purposes and identify different objects.
Without realizing it, we entrust our money, our security and the organization of our lives to magnetic technology every day. Magnetic heads read credit cards, count and check banknotes in banks. They encode our loyalty cards, as well as tickets for rail travel, parking and tolls, the ski lift and other access solutions. Special heads read magnetic characters and are used, for example, to check the authenticity of banknotes and checks.
Magnetic heads are based on the principle of inductive measurement. When the magnetic head moves through a magnetic field, i.e. when reading a magnetic recording, a current is induced which can then be decoded and further processed.
When writing, the principle is reversed. A write current induces a magnetic field from the coil and writes/encodes the information into the magnetic material (magnetic stripe). The information can be encoded according to different principles.
This technology was developed in the 1930s with sound recording and had its peak with cassette tape technology.
There is a wide range of magnetic heads for magnetic recording, some of which also include reading functions.
Magnetic heads are designed for different magnetic coercive field strengths. Depending on the application, a HiCo or LoCo head is used.
HiCo magnetic heads (high coercivity) have a magnetic field strength of between 2,750 and 4,000 Oe (Oerstedt) or 275 to 400 mT. The data encoded with them cannot be accidentally erased in everyday use.
LoCo magnetic heads (low coercivity) have a magnetic field strength between 300 and 600 Oe (or 30 - 60 mT). LoCo is the standard in the market.. Data encoded with LoCo magnetic heads, e.g. on credit cards, can be erased by external magnetic field exposure.
Magnetic heads are made of high-quality core materials such as ferrite, permalloy or Sendust and are subject to national and international standards such as ISO, DIN, IATA, ABA, and others.