There are many commercial applications for ferrofluids--speakers and hard drives being the most common. The oily fluid prevents debris from entering hard drives when a small amount is placed between the magnets and shaft. In the case of speakers ferrofluids remove heat from the voice coils and help dampen the cone movement. My own interest in the black ooze is a desire to create custom cases for electronics. And even more fun can be had making dynamic molds by pouring a hardening agent over the fluids.
If you are still wondering what ferrofluids are take a look at this video:
DIY Option 1: Magnetic Ink Developer
DIY Option 2: Ferric Chloride
The ferric chloride conversion is clever. Electronics enthusiasts often keep ferric chloride at home to eat away copper which makes a reasonable DIY circuit board. The chemistry involved seems easy enough.
- mix ferric chloride with water
- add steel wool - stir until bright green
- use a coffee filter as a strainer
- add more ferric chloride
- add ammonia
- heat for a hour at boiling (in a well ventilated space)
- let solution cool
- add kerosene
- pour off kerosene discard water
DIY Option 3: Recycling Audio Cassettes
Finally, we have what looks like the most DIY approach--acetone to extract the iron particles from old casette tapes. Obtaining tapes and using acetone is labor intensive, but commendable.
Controlling the shape of ferrofluids and then "freezing" them in place could be another tool for inexpensive desktop fabrication. Combining two unusual uses of magnetic fluids invites further empowerment for the maker. This French nail polish has magnetic particles that can be triggered into elegant patterns after being applied and before setting up. And Martin Frey has a dynamically controlled ferrofluid art piece titled SnOil that offers 144 pixels that is a low-res display.
I plan to try the chemical ferric chloride approach used in DIY option 2 substituting the kerosene for biodiesel and the oleic acid for citric acid. In order to get a freeze effect I will begin with pouring epoxy resin over the ferrofluid. Then observe the fluid's behavior. Can it hold a shape long enough for the resin to setup? That, we shall see.
I spent the summer making milligram quantities of nanowires (5-25 micrometers long) for magnetorheological fluids (MRF)which is the more technical term. The lab I worked at invented MRFs with wires and spheres that stay suspended for much longer than homogenous MRFs and can be used for more sensitive applications than normal MRFs.
MRFs can be used in shock absorbers to make them an active system that can adapt to their environment. The army has done tests with humvees equipped with MRF shocks and normal shocks and the MRF equipped ones could go 20 miles an hour faster over very rough terrain with much less jarring.
i actually want to use this as a possible heat sink for my computer case.
A liquid magnet or ferrofluid is a colloidal mixture of magnetic particles (~10 nm in diameter) in a liquid carrier. The carrier contains a surfactant to prevent the particles from sticking together. Ferrofluids can be suspended in water or in an organic fluid. A typical ferrofluid is about 5% magnetic solids, 10% surfactant, and 85% carrier, by volume. One type of ferrofluid you can make uses magnetite for the magnetic particles, oleic acid as the surfactant, and kerosene as the carrier fluid to suspend the particles.
Ferrofluid is very strongly attracted to magnets, so maintain a barrier between the liquid and the magnet (e.g., sheet of glass). Avoid splashing the liquid. Both kerosene and iron are toxic, so do not ingest the ferrofluid or allow skin contact (don't stir it with a finger or play with it).
Here are some ideas for activities involving your liquid magnet ferrofluid. You can:
* Use a strong magnet to float a penny on top of the ferrofluid.
* Use magnets to drag the ferrofluid up the sides of a container.
* Bring a magnet close to the ferrofluid to see spikes form, following the lines of the magnetic field.
Explore the shapes you can form using a magnet and the ferrofluid. Store your liquid magnet away from heat and flame. If you need to dispose of your ferrofluid at some point, dispose of it the way you would dispose of kerosene. Have fun! To read more: http://personalmoneystore.com/Payday-Loans/instant-Payday-Loans/instant-Cash/
This is so cool that it's making me salivate!
I wonder how this would act in zero gravity. Maybe we could get NASA to attempt this?
could you dye it other colors? say, white, or possibly get a chrome finish on it?
So this stuff should keep for virtually ever, right?
I was looking into making some a while ago, but seems a little too dangerous for my tastes. I know it's not overly risky, but the risks there are just more that I'd like to handle. I'm kind of a klutz, and it's not hard for me to see myself spilling magnetic ink developer or ferric chloride all over myself or house, and that would be very bad indeed.
Dose no one purge cancerous spam from these comments? SusanW is stealing from http://www.chem4all.vn/forums/showthread.php?t=4703 and trying to trap you in foulness.
I have had the luxury of working with ferrofluids for over 25 years. They are fascinating materials. I will say there is tremendous differences between types of ferrofluids and vendors. Ferrofluid selection requires careful consideration of the application. One other comment since someone above mentioned NASA. This material came out of NASA-funded development efforts.
Question 1: doesn't the Ferrari 599 gtb Fiorano have something like this in its active suspensions as well?
Question 2: It's cool that we can with little effort make some of this substance in the comfort of our home, but for what purpose? the appliances that need some already have it,so besides bragging rights(?) what can it be used for?
moving sculptures maybe?
Seriously, I wonder.
I am just wondering what are all of the uses this stuff has?
-Your Friend Zunigadragon
"Following the magnetic lines" suggests the question (no, duufi, not "begs"; that refers to circular reasoning. YCLIU), "Why does a magnetic field have lines?" That would seem to require/imply self-attractive particles, otherwise it would be a magnetic sheet, undifferentiated. Maybe it is until particles get involved. How would you know?
This stuff sells for $165 a liter!!! I wonder how much I can make in a week.
O.O So cool...
I uesd the developer method to try to make some ferrofluid and I was wondering how much stirring was needed for the fluid and how much powder to how much oil in a ratio?
I think i have actually seen ferrofluid while i was working on a car, i took the plug out of the differential (there's a magnet in the plug) and there was a silver sort of past on it where the metal shavings were stuck to the magnet and had mixed with the gear oil.
If you put a little of this into a glass container (perhaps 5 to 10 percent of the container's volume) and fill the rest up with straight ethanol or isopropanol so that there are no air bubbles and then cap the container, you don't have to throw it out and you can play with it all you want without mess.
here are some uses for the wonderous fluid for those of you that asked ot only does it help trace the lines projecting from a magnetic field when its stationary but check out what it does when the fields rotate!! its crazy how this stuf traces the lines also there is an artist who made her entire carrer from ferrofluid sculptures. it is increadibly useful just google it. its interesting to see how the lines of the field work there is one demonstration where they magnatize a screw piece from a meat grinder and the field actually fluxes quite a bit because of small defects in the desing of the screw the fluid makes it uber appearent.
"Following the magnetic lines" suggests the question (no, duufi, not "begs"; that refers to circular reasoning. YCLIU), "Why does a magnetic field have lines?"
That would seem to require/imply self-attractive particles, otherwise it would be a magnetic sheet, undifferentiated. Maybe it is until particles get involved. How would you know?
Jag har haft lyxen att jobba med ferrofluids i över 25 år. De är fascinerande material. Jag kommer att säga det finns en enorm skillnad mellan olika typer av ferrofluids och leverantörer. Ferrofluid urval kräver en noggrann utredning av ansökan. En annan kommentar, eftersom någon ovannämnda NASA. Detta material kom ut från NASA-finansierade utvecklingsinsatser.
Ho avuto il lusso di lavorare con ferrofluidi per oltre 25 anni. Si tratta di materiali affascinanti. Mi dicono che c'è enormi differenze tra i tipi di ferrofluidi e venditori. selezione Ferrofluid richiede un attento esame della domanda. Un altro commento da qualcuno di cui sopra NASA. Questo materiale è uscito di iniziative di sviluppo finanziati dalla NASA.
you really need to explain what you were planning for electronics cases? how would you use this?
Please be careful when making ferrofluid your self. Some of DIY methods are pretty dangerous. Wear gloves especially with at ink toner!
Intersting idea: (this has been done already in a major gov. research lab)
1)ferrofluid inside a torus (doughnut)made out of non
conductive low very low friction material.
2)Wrap many turns of magnet wire arround the torus to create
a circular electromagnet.
3) Have a strong cooling source (liquid nitrogen)
4) power the electromagnet. (pulsed) The content will
accelerate within the torus. The ferroliquid will start
circulating in a circle speeding faster and faster with
each revolution (pulsed electromagnet).
Attaining 200.000 RPM will cause the ferrometal to reach
near relativistic speeds. Then strange things start
happening to gravity.
Search the internet and see how they did it. The trick is to find a ferroliquid especially a suspension that does not freeze at near absolute zero... as well as a container material for the torus that will not explode under the G's generated and that will resist cold. cold.
I am not a physcist but am a scientist. Just search the internet and you will find stuff about this in reputable sites and a lot in nut job sites.
Where else could you buy the MICR ink?
what would be the easiest way to get the ferrofluid to work. Im not sure where to find these ingredients or what they are.....could you either tell us what to look for or give another option on creating the ferrofluid
I just tried making some ferrofluid out of a MICR ink cartridge. I mixed 1TBSP of ink, 2TBSP of oleic acid, stir it and then add 15TBSP of kerosene. Problem is that when I put a magnet near the liquid the oily-ink separate itself from the kerosene, and just stick together in some semi-spherical shape. Any idea what went wrong?