Total magnetic force on a ferrofluid droplet in microgravity

Álvaro Romero-Calvo*, Gabriel Cano-Gómez, Tim H.J. Hermans, Lidia Parrilla Benítez, Miguel Ángel Herrada Gutiérrez, Elena Castro-Hernández

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


The formulation of the total force exerted by magnetic fields on ferrofluids has historically been a subject of intense debate and controversy. Although the theoretical foundations of this problem can now be considered to be well established, significant confusion still remains regarding the implementation of the associated expressions. However, the development of future applications in low-gravity environments is highly dependent on the correct modeling of this force. This paper presents a contextualized analysis of different proposed calculation procedures and validation in a space-like environment. Kinematic measurements of the movement of a ferrofluid droplet subjected to an inhomogeneous magnetic field in microgravity are compared with numerical predictions from a simplified physical model. Theoretical results are consistent with the assumptions of the model and show an excellent agreement with the experiment. The Kelvin force predictions are included in the discussion to exemplify how an incomplete modeling of the magnetic force leads to significant errors in the absence of gravity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110124
Number of pages11
JournalExperimental Thermal and Fluid Science
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Accepted Author Manuscript


  • Ferrofluids
  • Magnetic mass transfer
  • Microgravity
  • Space engineering
  • Total magnetic force


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