Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Advisor 1

Bradley L. King

Committee Member 1

Jason Sommerville

Committee Member 2

Chunpei Cai


This work proposes and shows that thermomagnetic convection could be used in zero gravity to cool components of a Hall-effect thruster. A ferrofluid cavity was develop in the thermal and geometric model of a Hall-effect thruster. Simulations show that with an Ionic Liquid Ferrofluid after two minutes of thruster operations thermomagnetic convection occurs and in zero gravity will produce a larger velocity then natural convection that occurs in earth gravity. However, experiments did not result in heat transfer enhancement due to the limitation of the ferrofluid. Replacement of the Ferrotec EFH1 dispersant with dodecylbenzene did not result in Ionic Liquid Ferrofluid equivalent ferrofluid and did not lower of vapor pressure as intended and limited test to 60 °C. This limitation did not allow for the fluid to experience the largest difference in magnetic susceptibility that occurs near the Curie temperature.