Since the discovery of ferrofluids large industrial firms have been experimenting with the amazing magnetic forces of the nano-particle fluid. It is a unique substance that has both liquid and solid characteristics. Scientists are consistently creating nanometer sized materials.
The properties of conventional materials have the ability to change behavior when formed from nanoparticles. Magnetite is only magnetic on the nanoscale, when another magnet is present. In the normal state it is a permanent magnet. Through nanotechnology substances can be mixed with other elements creating new materials. Scientists are consistently developing materials in nanometer size.
How is it Solid and Liquid?
Ferrofluid consists of nano-sized particles that are suspended in liquid and smothered in magnetite. When there is no magnetic force around the they resemble a liquid. Once the material is removed the substance returns to a solid state.
Because they are capable of reducing friction they are an essential ingredient for the auto industry. They act as a liquid for rotating shafts causing them to slide smoothly across a surface of any shape. They are very popular in factories and other industrial applications.
NASA first developed these fluids to confine liquids in space. Every bit of the substance has the ability to reflect light offering numerous optical advantages. The most commonly known light reflectors are lasers. Science is also experimenting a way to control how the spacecraft behaves by creating an angular momentum in order to rotate the ship.
The most popular field for studying the particles possibilities is the medical field. When created out of iron oxide, it becomes useful through magnetic resonance imaging. This is important detecting cancer equipment. A new application called magnetic hyperthermia is in the experimental stages as a treatment for cancer.
Ferrofluids have many other industrial applications already being used. In the electronics industry they dampen the vibration of audio speakers and eliminate impurities from computer disk drives. The biomedical, environmental, and engineering fields are also discovering potential applications.. Nanoparticles are still being actively researched in many fields. Someday they may be the transporter of medications to specific parts of the body.