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Topic: A magnetic metal that can be crystallized  (Read 5119 times)

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Offline nikjaffe

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A magnetic metal that can be crystallized
« on: April 29, 2010, 10:17:45 AM »
Hey, I'm new on the forum.

I am creating a final piece for my art course and need some advice.

For the duration of the course I have been creating works related to physics and chemistry and I want to try and relate both in this final piece - I won't go into the details...

My initial idea has been to lay down neodymium disc magnets in the shape of a circle on a table (with about a 0.75 meter diameter - with enough distance between them so their fields would not interfere with each other). I would then lay a sheet of glass on top (approx 1m2) and spread iron filings over it to form a circle made of magnetic fields.

Now here comes the chemistry bit:

I originally wanted to then spread sulphuric acid over the filings and ideally produce some ferrous sulphate crystals. However I'm not sure if it will work as I've been told the procedure to make iron sulphate would be impractical.

So I'm wondering what can I use as an alternative metal (thats magnetic) and acid to make the crystal.

N.B I realize that it would be difficult to maintain the shape of the magnetic fields as they loose their magnetism when they become a salt - I'm working around this problem.

Thanks, It would be absolutely fantastic if I could get some help on this.


Offline Enthalpy

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Re: A magnetic metal that can be crystallized
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2011, 03:22:22 PM »
Must be too late for the piece of art, I regret...

Ferromagnetism is not an atomic property but a molecular one. For instance, Zn-Mn alloys are used in electronics as magnetic cores called there "ferrite", and CrO2 is a permanent magnet from the time of magnetic tapes. In contrast, Fe-Ni austenitic stainless steel is non-magnetic, unless a deformation (= same atoms) without heating can transform some of it to martensite. There are even ferromagnetic plastics, made of banal organic elements.

While iron sulphate would be easy to buy or produce, don't expect a ferromagnetic behaviour from it.

Induction lines are aesthetic and could make a nice piece of art. Usually done with iron powder. Electromagnets are preferred: switch off to clean the powder away.

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