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6 April 2006 Particle mixtures in magnetorheological elastomers (MREs)
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Magnetorheological elastomers (MREs) are state-of-the-art elastomagnetic composites comprised of magnetic particles embedded in an elastomer matrix. MREs offer enormous flexibility given that elastomers are easily molded, provide good durability, exhibit hyperelastic behavior, and can be tailored to provide desired mechanical and thermal characteristics. MRE composites combine the capabilities of traditional magnetostrictive materials with the properties of elastomers, creating a novel material capable of both highly responsive sensing and controlled actuation in real-time. This work investigates the response of MRE materials comprised of varying mixtures of 40 and 10 micron iron particles. Samples are tested in compression yielding a compressive modulus and measure of the shear stiffness via Mooney plots. Samples are also tested using a tunable vibration absorber (TVA) designed specifically for this experiment. The TVA loads the samples in oscillatory shear (10-100Hz) under the influence of a magnetic field. In all samples, results show increases in the material's stiffness under the application of a magnetic field as evidenced by the frequency response function of the TVA system. Increases in stiffness of 50% at 0.15T were achieved with samples containing 30%-40 micron particles and 30%-40micron + 2%-10 micron particles. This yields a ratio of over 300%/T. The two-particle MRE appeared not to have reached saturation suggesting further stiffness enhancement was possible beyond the saturated single-particle 40 micron sample. However, this may be a result of the larger iron content. Results also suggest variation in the behavior of two-versus single-particle MRE behavior as evidenced by the shear modulus found in compression, but results are inconclusive. MRE materials made with nanoparticles of hard magnetic barium ferrite show stiffness increases of 70%/T which is comparable to MREs having larger iron particles.
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Paris R. von Lockette, Jennifer Kadlowec, and Jeong-Hoi Koo "Particle mixtures in magnetorheological elastomers (MREs)", Proc. SPIE 6170, Smart Structures and Materials 2006: Active Materials: Behavior and Mechanics, 61700T (6 April 2006);

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