Isolation Properties of Low-Profile Magnetorheological Fluid Mounts
Southern, Brian M.
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This study evaluates the stiffness and damping characteristics of low-profile magnetorheological (MR) fluid mounts (MRFM) to provide a better understanding of the vibration improvements offered by such mounts, as compared with conventional elastomeric mounts. It also aims at assessing how much of the mount’s performance is due to the MR fluid and how much is due to the elastomer and steel insert that is used in MRFM. The study includes the design, analysis, fabrication, and testing of a unique class of MRFM that is suitable for the isolation of sensitive machinery and sensors. The MR fluid is compressed (squeezed) in response to dynamic force applied to the mount. The test results are compared with conventional elastomeric (rubber) mounts of the same configuration as MRFM, to highlight the changes in stiffness and damping characteristics for frequencies ranging from 1 to 35 Hz. With no current supplied, the MRFM has a slightly higher stiffness and nearly the same damping as a conventional rubber mount. The slight increase in MRFM stiffness is attributed to the MR fluid’s compressive stiffness, which is higher than the rubber. When current is supplied to the MRFM, the stiffness and damping increase significantly at lower frequencies and taper off to nearly the same level as the rubber mount at higher frequencies. Both the stiffness and damping are directly proportional to the supplied current. At the maximum current of 2 A, the MRFM has 200% higher stiffness and 700% higher damping than the rubber mount. The significantly higher damping and stiffness and the tapering off to nearly the same level as the rubber mount is quite interesting and intriguing. It indicates that MRFM delivers high damping and stiffness when needed, while significantly tapering them off when high damping and stiffness are not desirable.