Enhance Your Magnetic Silly Putty With Personal Lubricants


Instructables user [killbox] seems to have come across a process that actually makes magnetic silly putty “better”, depending on your specific needs. He had tons of fun making a batch of magnetic putty, but thought that the addition of iron oxide made it stiff and a bit slow moving for his tastes.

He tried to find a household item that could act as silly putty thinner, but after trying various oils, gylcerin, and rubbing alcohol, he came up empty handed. Undeterred, he researched how silly putty itself is made, and based on its list of ingredients, decided to seek out some sort of silcone-based lubricant.

He headed out to the local sex shop, and spent some time browsing through the “personal lubricant” section, in hopes of finding what he needed. He settled on ”Gun Oil”, a silicone lubricant that also contained Dimethicone, an item on the ingredient list of the lubricant he initially used to make the batch of magnetic putty.

After adding the lubricant, he found that the putty retained its texture, but flowed far more easily. The thinner putty also consumes rare earth magnets more quickly than its unaltered brethren, as you can see in the picture above.

We’re not sure how far you could push the ferro-putty before it would become a mess, but it’s certainly warrants further experiments.

[Thanks, Mike]

20 thoughts on “Enhance Your Magnetic Silly Putty With Personal Lubricants

  1. Ought to work.

    Sometimes you can get the strangest items in unusual places, for example did you know some phones use a circular vibrate motor that can be repurposed as part of a VR haptic glove?

    Good luck explaining the purchase of 10 bottles of this stuff to She Who Must Be Obeyed … !

  2. Teehee wow how do I explain the random lube sittin on my work bench after being in my basement for a couple hours building my unique platform robot to my girl friend?

  3. Dimethacone is another name for PMDS, also known as polydimethylsiloxane, the primary ingredient in silly putty. PDMS is CH3[Si(CH3)2O]nSi(CH3)3, where n is the number of repeating monomer [SiO(CH3)2] units.

    You can buy silly putty as Dow Corning 3179 Dilatant Compound. Just call them up and order some in bulk, if you wish. It isn’t terribly expensive.

    Ingredient list for silly putty:

    65% – Dimethyl Siloxane, hydroxy-terminated polymers with boric acid
    17% – Silica, quartz crystalline
    9% – Thixotrol ST
    4% – Polydimethylsiloxane
    1% – Decamethyl cyclopentasiloxane
    1% – Glycerine
    1% – Titanium Dioxide

    What you have done, in effect, is thinned the silly putty, making it flow more readily.

    The hydrogen bonds in silly putty can be readily broken. When small amounts of stress are slowly applied to the putty, only a few of the bonds are broken. Under these condition, the putty flows. When more stress is applied quickly, many bonds are broken, causing the putty to tear.

    What the author has done is essentially made the polymer chains “looser” and thus much more likely to flow past each other by diluting them with a very low viscosity silicone fluid (it is low viscosity because the linear oligomer chains are shorter and therefore less likely to “bunch up”).

    Very clever use of sex lube! I also use sex lube to lubricate lab instruments such as viscometers and such. As another aside, it is helpful as a standard to use IN viscometers for calibration purposes as the viscosity of these fluids tends to be extremely stable.

  4. To clarify, the “hydroxy-terminated polymers with boric acid” is a modified “end conection” that is grafted onto the end of dimethacone (PMDS) to foster linkages between molecules. The “straight” polydimethylsiloxane comprises only 4% of silly putty. By adding more, you obviously modify the ratios.

    I would hazard a guess that as much as 20 – 30% could be added although with a resulting and accelerated loss of physical properties past 10%.

  5. This seems like a SLICK hack,
    An answer to a SLIPPERY problem,
    A problem which could otherwise be a PAIN IN THE ASS,
    I could go on but I’m sure I’m gonna SLIP UP

    Its also a good alternate use of lube

  6. This lubricant is also sold as ‘mold release’ agent, for use in the plastics industry, or by most S&M shops since it is one of the few lubricants that can be used for polishing latex for a wet look without degrading the natural latex rubber.

    It just shows that most advances in technology including the internet will ultimately be used to ‘perv’ out.

  7. Thank you all! I was wondering why the hit count on the lube instructable just went way up! :) And the one about balloon photography had not anywhere near as much! (and it had just won a runner up in the “launch it contest)

    Doing my part for science! BTW its probably hard to believe, two facts, one I have a girlfriend, and two shes the one who took me to the shop to check out the lube. (although it was my own idea to see if silicone lubes might be compatible.)

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