20 Awesome Ferrofluid Facts – Ferrofluid is novel concept and an awesome one. Though there is still much to explore about ferrofluid, below are some ferrofluid facts that confirm its awesomeness. Awesome Ferrofluid:
1 Steve Papell of NASA developed the fluid in the 1960’s in response to the need for moving fuel in space where there is no gravity
2 They spike when subjected to magnetic field
3 They do not retain any magnetization once the external magnetic field is removed.
4 Ferrofluids have strong staining capacity. They can stain skin, glasses, bathroom sinks etc. Be careful when you use them.
5 Ferrofluids can be made in home (See here for detailed guide on How to make ferrofluids at home)
6 The composition of a typical ferrofluid is about 5% magnetic solids, 10% surfactant and 85% carrier, by volume
7 The surfactant is a liquid used to lower the surface tension (or interfacial tension) between two liquids or between a liquid and a solid. The common surfactants used in ferrofluids are oleic acid, tetramethylammonium hydroxide, citric acid, soy lecithin but are not limited to these.
8 Surfactants are responsible for prolonging the settling rate in ferrofluids but they also reduce the fluid’s magnetic properties (specifically, the fluid’s magnetic saturation)
9 True ferrofluids are stable. This means that the solid particles do not agglomerate or phase separate even in extremely strong magnetic fields.
10 However, the surfactant tends to break down over time (a few years), and eventually the nano-particles will agglomerate, and they will separate out and no longer contribute to the fluid’s magnetic response.
11 Ferrofluids lose their magnetic properties at sufficiently high temperatures, known as the Curie temperature. This is the temperature at which certain materials lose their permanent magnetic properties, to be replaced by induced magnetism.
12 Ferrofluids have an exceptionally high magnetic susceptibility and the critical magnetic field for the onset of the corrugations can be realised by a small bar magnet.
13 Doctors are working on a way to destroy tumors by injecting them with ferrofluids and then exciting them with magnetic field.
14 NASA has also experimented with flowing ferrofluids in a closed loop with electromagnets as an altitude control system.
15 Ferrofluid may make way for smart liquid which can morph between a solid and a liquid and act in ways we have not been able to fathom yet.
16 Ferrofluids are often classified as “superparamagnets” rather than ferromagnets as they do not retain magnetization in the absence of an externally applied field
17 Ferrofluids of suitable composition can exhibit extremely large enhancement in thermal conductivity (k; ~300% of the base fluid thermal conductivity). The large enhancement in thermal conductivity is due to the efficient transport of heat through percolating nanoparticle paths.
18 Ferrofluids are used in car suspension. Awesome Ferrofluid – General Motors was the first to develop such technology, where varying electric current through a ferrous fluid and help you adjust suspension stiffness in response to driving conditions.
19 Playing with ferrofluid is a burgeoning art-form. Some art and science museums have special devices on display that use magnets to make ferrofluids move around specially shaped surfaces in a fountain show-like fashion to entertain guests.
20 Many musical artists have used ferrofluids as music video. The Australian electronic rock band Pendulum used ferrofluid for the music video for the track, Watercolour. The post-metal band Isis also uses a ferrofluid in the music-video for 20 Minutes/40 Years.
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