Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

High performance magnetic fields

The project is concerned with the development of ultrastable colloidal dispersions of magnetic particles in perfluoropolyether carrier liquids and of new devices based on these materials. Its aim is to provide the basis for a new class of magnetic fluids taking advantage of chemical inertness, thermal stability, immiscibility and low vapour pressure of the perfluoropolyethers. The research involves the development of surfactants compatible with the carriers and able to stabilise ultrafine magnetic particles. All components are prepared and characterised by the most advanced technologies available to date. An alternative route for the preparation in situ of dispersions is examined. The dispersions are characterized for their physicochemical behaviour and their performance is tested in a sealing device, specifically designed for vacuum technologies.

A range of perfluoropolyether (PFPE) magnetic fluids has been obtained and proved to operate in rotary seals without any loss of performance over prolonged and severe tests. 2 types have reached a commercial quality and can be produced in sufficient quantities to allow exploitation. Ferrofluids have been developed on a laboratory scale and their testing is in progress.
The PFPE ferrofluids are fully usable in sealing applications, as established over a range of device operating conditions. They outweigh the conventional magnetic fluids in a safety critical environment, while performing similarly to hydrocarbon systems of similar magnetization. The results provide a sound basis for the exploitation plans.

Considering all the items developed to date, the perceived advantage over commercially available products mostly relies on a favourable cost to performance ratio. The developed systems and technology are expected shortly to become of commercial interest.

Contact

G GAVAZZI
Tel.: +39-2-38356526
Fax: +39-2-38356233
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