Magnetic fluids in microgravity environments

Capobianchi, Paolo; Lappa, Marcello and Hamerton, Ian and Roberts, Peter C.E. and Kao, Andrew and Domingos, Marco and Soorghali, Hamid and Carvil, Philip, eds. (2024) Magnetic fluids in microgravity environments. In: Why Space? Satellite Applications Catapult, Didcot, pp. 68-69. ISBN 9781914241680 (

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Magnetic fluids such as magneto-rheological fluids and ferrofluids are a class of smart materials composed of magnetic particles dispersed in a conventional carrier liquid which find widespread use in many scientific and engineering problems. Recently, a range of new technological applications based of magnetic-amagnetic fluid pair systems exploiting the ability of the magnetic phase to target desired locations using magnetism for manipulation, transport and actuation guided by magnetic fields have appeared. While in the presence of micro-sized drops buoyancy is often negligible, at larger scales gravity becomes relevant and affects the dynamics of the system. Hence, a need has emerged to investigate the magnetic field-induced motion of large particles of magnetic fluids filtering out the effect of buoyancy through dedicated experiments in microgravity conditions.