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Some Frequently Asked Questions


Q. Why is your business called Spontaneous Materials?


A. I was trying to find a name connected to all my areas of expertise and to convey the sense of unfettered speed. Of course in magnetism there is spontaneous magnetization, the external manifestation of the natural internal cooperative force called magnetism. I like that.


 Effective May 9, 2007, "Spontaneous Materials" is a Registered Trademark.


Q. How do you bill your clients?


A. Unless we have a written agreement that states otherwise, any time I spend working on your problem or project is billable, including time on the telephone.


Q. I would like to use a picture or other content from your website in a presentation or other publication, how do I go about it?


A. All the content on this site is copyrighted. You need to obtain my permission to use anything found on this site. Click here to submit a request. Generally, I say yes to most requests. However, I am firm in insisting that any content taken from this site must clearly show Spontaneous Materials as the source, no exceptions.

Q. Aren’t consultants expensive?

A. If you consider just an hourly or daily rate, I suppose they might look expensive if you compare that figure to the hourly rate of a fulltime employee. But this is a particularly misleading comparison and ignores a leading reason for hiring a consultant. A consultant can usually do a job faster than you and your employees. The total cost of a consultant is usually a small fraction of the cost of a fulltime employee. And the value of a consultant should outweigh their cost. Click here to see my article “The On-Demand Engineer”.

Q. I don’t know very much about magnetic materials and need to learn about them for a project I’m doing. How can Spontaneous Materials help?

A. With a fairly straightforward process that I have used to train many people in magnetics. After establishing what you need to learn and your background, I create a seminar or class to specifically address your needs, along with the appropriate reading material. This process requires very little time on your part, perhaps a day or two, depending on your needs. I guarantee that you cannot get up to speed faster on your own. For more details, click here

Q. We have a person in our organization with 17 years of experience with permanent magnets, why should we hire you to train our new employee about magnets? Won't it be cheaper to use our own staff?

A. Believe it or not, it will likely be less expensive to hire me to train your new employees, when you consider all the costs. Being knowledgeable about the subject matter is just small part of what is needed to be a good trainer. In addition, you need the time, talent as a teacher and resources in order to be successful. Likely your in-house resource is missing one or more of these attributes, or has too many other responsibilites to devote the time required to train people well.

Q. I have a lot of information spread across several resources but don’t have it down on paper in an organized way. How can Spontaneous Materials help?

A. A report, application bulletin or presentation is closer than you think. Give us the data and an idea of what you would like the final product to look like. You will be happy with the results.

Q. I just bought a new stainless steel refrigerator, and now find that the objects I had on my old refrigerator, no longer stick on the new one. What happened?

A. (I usually hear this one on the plane, just after I tell my seatmate what I do.) Without getting into too much detail, stainless steels generally contain chromium, which helps to make the stainless steel to look pretty, along with nickel. Chromium is not magnetic and most grades of stainless steel do not attract a magnet. But be careful, there are exceptions!


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