Ultrasonic propagation velocity in a magnetic fluid (MF) and magnetorheological fluid (MRF) changes with the application of an external magnetic field. The formation of clustering structures inside the MF and MRF clearly has an influence on the ultrasonic propagation velocity. Therefore, we propose a qualitative analysis of these structures by measuring properties of ultrasonic propagation. Since MF and MRF are opaque, non-contact inspection using the ultrasonic technique can be very useful for analyzing the inner structures of MF and MRF. In this study, we measured ultrasonic propagation velocity in a hydrocarbon-based MF and MRF precisely. Based on these results, the clustering structures of these fluids are analyzed experimentally in terms of elapsed time dependence and the effect of external magnetic field strength. The results reveal hysteresis and anisotropy in the ultrasonic propagation velocity. We also discuss differences of ultrasonic propagation velocity between MF and MRF.
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