Ferrofluid Sculpture: Top 5 Design Constraints

Now that I have a fair amount of research under my belt and a good idea of how I am going to attack this project… I have quite a few problems to overcome. Here are my top 5 constraints:

  1. Ferrofluid sticks to literally everything. Once it touches a glass surface, it will not come off unless it is wiped off thoroughly. I have found a couple websites that have a “top secret solution” that allows ferrofluid to freely float, but they refuse to share it with me unless I pay them a lump sum of money. I will have to devise my own method.
  2. Creating a custom glass tank that is completely waterproof is quite tedious. The glass has to be cut to tight dimensions, and bonded together with a strong non water-soluble adhesive.
  3. The power delivered to the electromagnet. Since I do not want this sculpture to be plugged into the wall, I will be using batteries. They have a voltage limit that cannot be surpassed (unless I use a ton of batteries) .
  4. Weight. Since the end goal is to have the ferrofluid sculpture wall mounted, weight is a huge concern. The last thing I want is to have the glass assembly containing vile fluid crashing to the ground!
  5. Money. Ferrofluid as well as the rest of the liquids/components I am using are not cheap, and I am not currently employed. My goal is to try and keep this project under $300, which as of now is looking good.
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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Erick Pena
    May 5, 2016 8:42 am

    Ferrofluid is so fun to work with. I worked with it last semester in flow visualization. I think that it makes it really hard to work with Ferrifluid because the attraction force is very large if the film or glass is thin. so some advise would be to use a durable thick glass on the bottom to reduce some of that force. this is a very neat project. and it will all be worth it in the end.

  • Tyler Smyth
    April 3, 2016 9:08 pm

    Man that sucks, have you tried talking to Professor Hertzberg? This sounds like her area of expertise. The weight of the batteries might be an issue if your trying to hang it on the wall, how much voltage and amps does the electromagnet need?


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