Ferro fluid is simply a mixture of water or a liquid solvent and minute particles of ferromagnetic materials like nickel, cobalt, zinc and iron. Due to residual magnetism, these tiny particles move in random motion withing the fluid. This motion is commonly referred to as “Brownian motion.” In the absence of a magnetic field, ferro fluid resembles oil. When placed in a magnetic field, the fluid forms tentacle-like appendages and spikes. This effect is very fascinating and has found use in a number of areas. For instance, this magnetic fluid can be used as a filler in computer hard disks. There are also many medical, industrial and scientific applications of ferro fluid.
Industrial application of this magnetic fluid include lubrication of magnetic parts in machinery. In medicine, the fluid is used in MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) machines. these machines are able to make clear images of human tissue which makes it possible for physicians to see lesions, tumors and injuries to organs and muscles.
There are research studies being conducted to see if the fluid can be used as a medical treatment technique. The basic theory is that the fluid can reduce a cancer lesion if it is magnetized after being injected into a tumor. The experimental technique is known as magnetic hyperthermia and can achieve better results when used with chemotherapy.
“Smart fluid” is a variation of ferro fluid. It is widely used in electrorheological (ER) and Magnetorheological (MR). MR fluid is used to make brake break suspension in automobile manufacturing.
Ferro fluid is also used in schools as an exciting way of demonstrating the effects of magnetism to school kids. There are many other possible uses of ferro fluid which are yet to be explored.