Picture of Make your own ferrofluid in 5 minutes
Using magnetic ink and any oil lying around your house, make a substance that's liquid when it's sitting around, but turn solid in the presence of a magnetic field
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Step 1: Intro

Picture of Intro
This instructable will show you how to make your own ferrofluid. A ferrofluid is a fluid with magnetic particles in it, and if the fluid is exposed to a magnetic field, all the magnetic particles will align with the field lines, and making the fluid much more dense. There's a lot of cool things you can do with this fluid. Enjoy!!!

Step 2: Get the Materials

Picture of Get the Materials
This is just about the simplest ferrofluid you can make. You'll need two basic materials: magnetic (MICR) ink, and a household oil. I've tried a couple types of oils, and it seemd like a light lubricating oil works best, but any cooking oil will work fine, as well. The amount of oil you have is pretty much the amount of ferrofluid you'll get out--about 50mL is good for starters, but feel free to make as much as you want.
The ink is a dry magnetic ink that's used to print checks and other documents that use magnetic character recognition (check out the wikipedia article at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic_ink_character_recognition if you want to know more about this awesome technology). You can get a box of it on ebay for about thirty bucks (search for MICR or magnetic ink), and you can also get it at http://www.expresstonercartridges.com/okidata.htm. It's going out of style, so you'll have to poke around a little bit to find it. It's important to remember that you don't want a toner cartridge--just the toner.

Step 3: Mix It!

Picture of Mix It!
Pour some oil into a mixing cup. Add a bit of the ink, and stir it into the oil. You're making a suspension, so the ink won't dissolve in the oil. Just stir it. Keep on adding ink and stirring until you have a thick solution. There's no exact science to this. A good guideline for identifying a well-mixed fluid is that if you tip your mixing cup, the fluid should ooze rather than slosh.
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should the magnet must have north and south poles to make it work? or a complete pull magnet will do?

sorry, but there's no such thing. all magnets, be them ferrous, rare earth metal, electro, are, by the definition of what magnetism is, polarized object. The only sort of mono polar objects are statically charged objects, but to pull neutral iron like that would require a charge so high that i would start worrying about inducing (or producing deepening on the charge) actually dangerous amounts of lighting. think, thunder clouds are one of the biggest and most powerful natural forms of static charge there is and you don't see coins being lifted from the ground.

alcurb1 year ago

There is something wrong with your last two links.

Poppy Ann1 year ago

you may have problems using most laser toner as it is electrostatic not magnetic in its operation.

i wish it was magnetic as then it would be much easier to clean up when spilled

judas791 year ago

So...I made the ferrofluid, bought a 200lb rated, rare earth magnet and it just makes a big bubble without the "spikes" from the magnetic currents, like I've seen here. The fluid does seem to be very magnetic as it should be. Anybody have any ideas of what I might be doing wrong, or not doing?

itsthatsguy7 years ago
Ok some people have been getting no affect and most toner particles are magnetic, the reason for no or little affect is your magnet. The magnet your using should have a pull force of about 100+lbs. If you have a local hardware store you can probably buy a magnet there for 5-20$ and if you don't goto This Webiste and purchase a block magnet with a high pull force and make sure it says diametrically magnitized (that means it has a north and a south side). try to keep it under 200lbs unless you have TOTAL experience handling Neomodyuim magnets. BTW adding some household ammonia will help the particles stablilze so they don't clump add about 2 drops for every once of ferrofluid and make sure you don't eat the ammonia or mix it with another chemical unless its has been approved and is safe to handle.

can I have a direct link to a magnet that strong for around $25 OR LESS (hopefully) please? i cant find any of those!
I have a magnet with a pull force of 250 lbs....that should do it, right? :P I am so making this! I love magnets and stuff like this.
well you have 2 use a earth magnet
psinha21 year ago
vivid description on how to make a liquid magnet
steampsycho2 years ago
Any thoughts on which might be the best out of this list? And how much?
(This is a reply to willvb13 - the comment system wasn't letting me reply)
psinha22 years ago
here is blog on it

macgyverfan4 years ago
are there any practical applications for ferrofluid?
ferrofluid was invented by NASA to move fuel in null gravity.
a4806413 years ago
this is very cool but it appears your batch doesnt have quite enough oil to be smooth.
GASSYPOOTS3 years ago
brotip: use magnets for hardness :D
strmrnnr3 years ago
Wondering if you have ever heard of this material from the tape being mixed with a paste an used as a heatsink compound. Being that it is obviously metal base it should conduct heat well.
could you get the ink out of any pen?
magnadox4 years ago
Ferro fluid has the capability of a fluid controllable by magnetism, nasa uses it in space to control fuel
ilpug4 years ago
my cousin and his friends worked on a ferrofluid display POng once. it didnt work right apparently.
bits1bytes25 years ago
A typical ferrofluid is about 5% magnetic solids, 10% surfactant, and 85% carrier, by volume.
- magnetic solids: come from the MICR
- surfacant : either itric acid or oleic acid (which I prefer)
- carrier: veggie oil or kerosene (which is better)

So.... for a 100ml total volume, 5ml of MICR, 10ml acid, and 85ml of kerosene.

An MSDS for this can be found at www.teachersource.com/Images/UserDir/FF310MSDS.pdf
Wouldn't you need more MICR since the ingredient isn't pure?
soroka69 s4mm774 years ago
No, no more than 10% of the total volume
s4mm774 years ago
I must make this to feel the epic texture... Where the hell can i get MICR O_O
soroka69 s4mm774 years ago
Look on eBay for MICR or magnetic ink Re-Fill
ski539 s4mm774 years ago
honestly theres an easier way to do it, one is with acetone and tapes. both easier to get. and another way i know less about but it uses kerosene and makes it really high quality. but you dont wanna be touching it because the iron is bad for you.
s4mm77 s4mm774 years ago
I've found some on ebay... RICOH FT-4215 TYPE 410 DEVELOPER will do?
nope, need sem different stuff, not RICOH
twenglish16 years ago
will this work with all toner?? cause i have an old cartridge that still has some toner in it and i was wondering if i could use that
Five syllables, Mimetic Polyalloy
Isn't 'Mimetic Polyalloy' six syllables? If I'm wrong, I'll be surprised, but if I'm right, I'll assume that somebody wasn't taking much time to think about syllable count.
I count 7
Yep, you're right. Mim-et-ic- -pol-y-all-oy You were right. Seven syllables.
10 syllables
prove it
Over 9,000 syllables.
this is ridiculous. An argument over how many syllables a phrase has.
16 is the most syllables the words could have because, they are only 16 characters *not counting the spaces
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