Ferrofluid appendages: Ferrofluid vortex container - A numerical investigation of free surface shape and vortex flow in ferrofluids for different relative densities

Document Type : Article


Department of Marine Technology, Amirkabir University of Technology,Tehran, Iran


The use of ferrofluids as shapeable external appendage to a submerged body and as a mean of vortex flow induction is studied in this paper. Ansys-CFX numerical results are validated against analytical problems and used to analyze the ferrofluid free surface shape affected by gravity, different magnets and different densities of the surrounding non-magnetic fluids. It is demonstrated that the height, width, and curvature of ferrofluid can be controlled by magnet size and strength. It is also observed that ferrofluid mass loss may occur due to gravity which should be addressed in designing a fluid appendage. Subsequently, vortex production inside the ferrofluid is investigated via a shear flow on the magnet. It is shown that ferrofluid can contain complex vortices while being shaped by the magnetic field, gravity, and the vortices. It is also observed that vortices inside the ferrofluid affect the flow of the surrounding fluid. Additionally, the effects of surface tension and viscosity are briefly analyzed to roughly show the importance of these parameters for further works. Overall, it is concluded that using ferrofluids as appendages for shaping and controlling fluid flow around submerged bodies seem to be practical and needs further attention.


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