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J Acupunct Res > Volume 31(2); 2014 > Article
Hong: Development of Magnetized Ferromagnetic Stainless Steel Acupuncture Needle
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Manufacturing and manipulation techniques of acupuncture can be interpreted as an induced electromagnetic viewpoint, as proposed in previous study. Considering from this point of view, the magnetization of needles should be essential to enhance the electromagnetic effects during the behavior of the acupuncture needling.


The current disposable needles are made of non-magnetic stainless steels, so ferromagnetic materials were searched as suitable substitutes. Meanwhile, at the practical view, stainless steels are very available for the several superior properties like as corrosion resistance, strength, etc., magnetic stainless steels were first investigated. Some types of them still preserved the ferromagnetic properties of iron, so trial needles were made with them. And then magnetization of them were followed.


Among the hundreds types of stainless steels, martensitic or ferritic ones are ferromagnetic. The needles made with these ferromagnetic wires were magnetized, and polarized by magnetizer, and their magnetic properties were improved. Moreover, in addition to the superiority of the magnetism, the electrical and thermal conductivities of them were even better than those of the current austenitic stainless steels.


Through the developmental study based on the electromagnetic viewpoint, the magnetized and polarized acupuncture needles were completed. This means that these needles having improved magnetism can be used to improve the electromagnetic needling effects, and moreover, their superiorities in the electrical and thermal conductivities can also give another benefits in treatments of electrical or warm needling.

Fig. 1.
The appearance of the current STS 304 needles and newly produced STS 430 ones
Fig. 2.
The magnetized acupuncture needles assigned to the different polarity
Fig. 3.
Hysteresis curves of several stainless steel types
Fig. 4.
Electrical resistances of several stainless steel types
Fig. 5.
Thermal conductivities of several stainless steel types
Table 1.
The Compositions and Characteristics of Several Stainless Steel Types
Type Composition ρ* R K Magnetiic property
ASS 304 18Cr-8Ni 8.0 73 15 Non-magnetic
316 18Cr-12Ni-2Mo 8.0 74 15
316L 18Cr-12Ni-2Mo-LC 8.0 74 15

FSS 409L 11Cr-0.2Ti-LCN 7.8 57 25 Ferromagnetic
430 17Cr-0.05C 7.8 60 25
436L 18Cr-1Mo-0.3Ti-LCN 7.8 60 25

MSS 410 13Cr-0.04C 7.8 57 30 Ferromagnetic
420 13Cr-0.2C 7.8 55 30

DSS 329J3L 22Cr-5Ni-3Mo-0.15N 7.8 75 15 Magnetic
329LD 20Cr-2.5Ni-1.4Mo-N 7.8 75 15

* density(mg/cm3).

electrical resistivity(μΩ-cm, 20 °C).

thermal conductivity (W/m-K, 20 °C).

ASS : austenitic stainless steel.

FSS : ferritic stainless steel.

MSS : martensitic stainless steel.

DSS : duplex stainless steel.

Table 2.
Magnetic Properties of Several Stainless Steel Types
Type Permeability(R)* μ/μ0 Magnetic flux(S) (103 G) Magnetic flux(R) (103 G) Cohesive force (A/m) Magnetic property
ASS 304 1.004 - - - Non-magnetic
316 1.003 - - -

MSS 410 750 14∼15 5.5∼6.5 480 Ferromagnetic
420 950 14∼15 7.5∼8.5 800
FSS 430 1,800 14.5∼15.5 7.0∼8.0 160
Iron (99.8 %) 5,000 6.0∼7.0 1.3 12

* relative permeability.

saturation magnetic flux.

residual magnetic flux.

Table 3.
Electrical Properties of Several Stainless Steel Types
Electrical resistance(μ ℧ · cm)(20 °C) Electrical conductivity(20 °C)(106(℧ · m)−1)
ASS 304 72×10−6 1.39
316 74×10−6 1.35
MSS 410 57×10−6 1.75
420 55×10−6 1.82
FSS 430 60×10−6 1.67
Iron 9.9×10−6 10.1
Carbon steel 14.3×10−6 7.69
Table 4.
Thermal Properties of Several Stainless Steel Types
Melting point(°C) Specific heat (cal/g/°C) C*(α×105) (m2/s) KW/(m.K)(20 °C)
ASS 304 1,399∼1,454 0.12 0.395 15
316 1,485∼1,535 0.12 0.348 15

MSS 410 1,482∼1,532 0.11 0.699 30
420 1,425∼1,510 0.11 0.699 30

FSS 430 1,427∼1,510 0.11 0.732 25

Cooper 1,084 0.092 11.70 401
Iron 1,530 0.11 2.28 80
Carbon steel 1,425∼1,530 0.12 1.54 54

* thermal diffusion coefficient.

thermal conductivity.

Table 5.
Mechanical Properties of Some Stainless Steel Types
Density (kg/m3) Yield strength (MPa) Tensile strength (MPa) Elongation (%) Hardness Modulus of elasticity (GPa)

Brinell (kgf/mm 2) Rockwell B ((kgf/mm2)
ASS 304 8,000 177 520 60 150 90 200
316 8,000 177 520 50 180 90 200

MSS 410 7,800 226 441 20∼35 135∼160 93 210
420 7,800 206 520 15∼30 160∼190 97 234

FSS 430 7,800 206 451 30 160 88 200
Carbon steel 7,870 285 340 20 163 84 200
Table 6.
Surface Magnetic Flux of Magnetized Acupuncture Needles
STS 304 (non-magnetic) STS 430 (N needle) STS 430 (S needle)

Before treated Magnetized Before treated Magnetized
Surface flux(gauss) N 0.5 N 0.5 N 50∼N 25 N 0.5 S 20∼S 45

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