What Does Ferrofluid Mean?

Ferrofluid is a type of fluid that contains suspended micro particles of iron, magnetite or cobalt in a solvent. The solvent is typically an organic fluid as a carrier, or water in some special cases where oil can be dangerous to use (in case of non-volatile, inflammable liquid choices).


Techopedia Explains Ferrofluid

Invented in 1963 by NASA’s Steve Papell, ferrofluid was created as a liquid rocket fuel for use in space where gravitational pull could not affect fuel in a normal manner. Using a magnetic field, the fuel was to be drawn toward a pump inlet in a weightless environment. Nowadays it is also used in cases such as keeping dust off sensitive hardware such as the drive shafts of magnetic disk drives, as a sealer liquid in the presence of magnetic fields, as well as in the chemical and medical industries. Ferrofluids are superparamagnetic, meaning they are unable to keep their magnetization when not in the influence of a magnetic field.


Related Terms

Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…