Magnetic float level sensors involve the use of a permanent magnet sealed inside a float whose rise and fall causes the opening or closing of a mechanical switch in proximity of a reed switch or through direct contact. With mechanically actuated floats, the float is directly connected to a micro switch. For both magnetic and mechanical float level sensors, chemical compatibility, temperature, specific gravity (density), buoyancy, and viscosity affect the selection of the stem and the float. For example, larger floats may be used with liquids with specific gravities as low as 0.5 while still maintaining buoyancy. The choice of float material is also influenced by temperature-induced changes in specific gravity and viscosity – changes that directly affect buoyancy.
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