Developed in the 1960s by NASA scientists seeking a non-mechanical method for moving liquid fuels in outer space, ferrofluids are made up of magnetic nanoparticles suspended in liquids such as oil, water, or alcohol. Though numerous industrial, commercial, and biomedical applications for ferrofluids have since been created, the original goal-to pump liquids with no machinery-remained elusive, until now.
"The ferrofluid pumping scheme we demonstrated is simple, robust, and very inexpensive," says co-author Leidong Mao, a former graduate student in Koser’s lab, currently with the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Georgia. Their approach, Mao notes, could lead to highly compact, integrated, quiet, and efficient liquid cooling schemes for portable, high-performance consumer electronics. For instance, ferrofluid cooling would eliminate the need for fans and heat plumbing inside computers, enabling further miniaturization. “Your laptop could be twice as thin and a third lighter and faster with more efficient cooling,” Koser says. >continue<
One wonders about possible applications in aerospace, fuselage, re-entry surfaces, etc.