What is Fero Fluid?
Ferro fluid, sometimes called magnetic liquid, is a strange liquid that's attracted to the poles of a magnet. It's made of tiny particles of a magnetic material suspended in a liquid, and is coated with a surfactant that keeps the particles from clumping together.
Originally, NASA invented it in 1963 as fuel for space vehicles, but now it's being used for medical innovation and liquid robotics.
What is it?
Fero fluid is a liquid that responds to magnets and magnetic fields.
It is a colloidal mixture of nanoscale (aka SUPER tiny) ferrimagnetic particles suspended in a liquid (like oil). The small particles are coated with a soap or detergent to prevent them from clumping together. When a magnet is introduced, the small particles dance around in the magnetic field as the magnet attracts them. The result is a very cool looking black goo that has the ability to act like a fluid, a magnet and a solid.
The name Ferro fluid is a proprietary brand invented by NASA to help fuels flow correctly in space, but it has since been used in other applications.
What is the best way to dispose of it?
You can use our convenient Recycling Bin located in the Spark Shop. Or, you can dispose of it through the landfill with a simple dumping operation.
How is it made?
Ferro fluid is a strange mixture of nanoscale magnetic particles (like iron oxide) suspended in a oil-based liquid with a special coating that prevents the particles from clumping together. When the fluid is exposed to a strong magnetic field, these tiny particles become magnetized and condense into a solid. This makes it very easy to manipulate and move from a distance, making it an ideal material for science demonstrations and art installations.
It’s also a useful fluid for creating low friction seals around rotating shaft motors and computer hard drives where a small amount of ferro fluid is placed between the magnets and the shaft to prevent debris from entering the drive. Speakers also use a similar fluid to prevent heat from the voice coils from heating up the cone, dampening the noise that would otherwise be heard through the speakers.
You can easily make your own ferrofluid by mixing up a few tablespoons of ink and a small amount of household oil, then stirring until the fluid forms a thick solution. Just be sure that the ink doesn’t dissolve in the oil, and that you stir it until it oozes rather than sloshes out of your cup. This is the cheapest way to get started with making ferrofluid, but you can go ahead and mix up as much as you like!
What are its uses?
Ferro fluid, also known as ferrohydrodynamic fluid or magnetic fluid, is a liquid that becomes strongly magnetized in the presence of a magnetic field. It was first developed by NASA in the 1960s and is used for various applications today.
It is typically made up of nanoscale ferromagnetic particles suspended in a carrier fluid, usually an oil-based substance. In some cases, a water-based solution can be used instead.
When placed in a magnetic field, the particles become more or less magnetic depending on their temperature and polarity. It is then possible to use this liquid as a form of magnetic therapy for diseases such as cancer, where the particles can be injected into the tissue and drawn to the target by a strong electromagnetic field.
Another application of Ferro fluid is as a liquid seal that prevents dust and other debris from entering computer hard drives. A small amount of the fluid is placed in the gap between the drive shaft and a magnetic ring and will be held in place by the attraction between the two.
This same type of liquid seal is used in loudspeakers to prevent dirt and debris from entering the voice coils. As the speaker is turned on, a current flows through the voice coils to generate sound.
During this process, the heat from the voice coils is removed by the ferro fluid. This helps dampen the cone movements and eliminates the need for a separate cooling system.
Since the mid-1970s, the use of Ferro fluid has exploded and it is now widely used in many commercial loudspeakers. It is also used for a variety of other purposes, including car suspension systems, high-speed printing, petroleum refining, and cancer diagnostics.
As a bonus, it can be made into an interesting art medium by pouring it into dynamic molds. The result can be a cool science demonstration or an incredibly creative art installation!
The most popular uses of ferrofluids are as a liquid seal for rotating shafts in hard disk drives, in speakers and in the medical industry. But they are also useful in a wide range of other fields, from plastic recycling to environmental remediation. They are also being explored for space propulsion and ion propulsion.
How do I dispose of it?
The best way to dispose of the liquid is by letting it sit in the sun for as long as possible. The best time to go for a walk is if the weathers decent and you've got a dry errand to run. There is no shortage of tinkerers on the prowl in your local area. You may even find yourself with a few of your own in your glove box. Getting the jugs cleaned up can be a chore. It can also be a bit of a pain to find the most suitable disposal. Luckily the best suited household is most likely to be one of your neighbors, so the competition for your prize money is reduced to a minimum.