Tech Briefs

Savannah River National Laboratory

Magnetic Release Coupling

An engineer at the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) has developed a magnetic release coupling that offers features unavailable in coupling technologies currently on the market.


The magnetic release coupling was originally conceived to reduce exposure of works to radiation and to eliminate inadvertent decoupling of pipe connections. The magnetic coupling provided a quick disconnect connection that did not require time consuming assembly and disassembly while providing a secure connection with a streamlined outer profile for use with no catching or interference problems. The coupling also provided excellent response to impact. After conception, the coupling was projected into other uses such as torque transfer, component connections, hidden connections and tension release mechanisms.

At a glance

  • Quick assembly
  • Quick disassembly
  • No catch points
  • No pins to lose
  • No inadvertent releases Impact resistant
  • U.S. Patent 7,575,389

Versatile design

The design features of the magnetic release coupling provide a versatile means of coupling for a number of situations. The coupling is currently being used as a means of remote camera and equipment, mounting and for extension pole assembly for deployment in radioactive environments. The device has been designed to travel through 2” diameter assess ports and could be built to pass through even smaller openings.

Many uses

This technology can be applied to any industry requiring connections that are tough, quick connecting and disconnecting, and require only a magnetic key for operation. Some prospective areas of use would include torque transfer, pipe connection, electrical connection, hose connection, electrical box closure, cabinet closure, tire installation, tubular frame assembly, antennae assembly, and pavilion assembly.

Partnering opportunities

SRNL invites interested companies with proven capabilities in this area of expertise to develop commercial applications for this process or product under a cooperative research and development agreement or licensing agreement. Interested companies will be requested to submit a business plan setting forth company qualifications, strategies, activities, and milestones for commercializing this invention. Qualifications should include past experience at bringing similar products to market, reasonable schedule for product launch, sufficient manufacturing capacity, established distribution networks, and evidence of sufficient financial resources for product development and launch.

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Contact Information

Savannah River National Laboratory