Ivan Solijkovic - The Real-Life Magneto

You could be forgiven for thinking that you have visited the 'Ripley's Believe it or Not!' website this week as we follow up our last article on a newly-discovered nickel-eating plant with a report on a magnetic boy! Ivan Soiljkovic, just six years old, has quickly become a legend since a video of him showing off his skills went viral.

Ivan Soiljkovic is from Croatia where he lives with his family. Like all children, Ivan is at his happiest when at play and also enjoys learning to play the accordion. Unlike any other child in the world, however, Ivan has the fascinating ability of being able to carry several metal objects without any visible means of support, simply by 'sticking' them to his body. Up to 25kg of objects have been successfully stuck to his torso, from mobile phones and cutlery to tools and a very large frying-pan. Ivan says that using his power makes him feel very tired though seemed to have plenty of energy in the video! As well as his magnetic abilities, Ivan can lift 50lb bags of cement and is reputed to have 'healing hands'.

Of course, the video has generated as much scepticism as interest. Many theories have been put forward to explain the video from super-smooth skin to an outright hoax though Ivan's ability to lift very heavy weights cannot be disputed. As far as the magnetic ability goes, an interesting test would be to see if he could distinguish between austenitic and martensitic stainless steel!

Austenitic stainless steel is used for non-magnetic applications, such as MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), though it must be pointed out that it is almost never possible in practice to create a 100% non-magnetic metal due to the trace amounts of martensite/­ferrite found in steel. A completely non-magnetic material (glass, for example) is graded with a Relative Magnetic Permeability (RMP) of 1; in general, austenitic stainless steel is graded between 1.05 and 1.1 though metals with an RMP of 1.004 have been created for special applications.

Martensitic steel, along with duplex, precipitation-hardening and ferritic steel, is magnetic. These types of steel have a vast range of applications though are most familiar in the form of cutlery (ferritic) and professional chef knives (martensitic). The magnetism is created by the higher levels of ferrite and martensite; these levels are further increased by processes such as welding and cold-work.

Choosing the right steel for any particular project from BS Stainless is a matter of simplicity. Our clear, responsive website offers full details on all of our products and services while our skilled and professional customer service team are always available to offer information, support and advice. Call us on +44 (0) 1772 337555 or email sales@bsstainless.co.uk.

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