Drag losses in the powertrain are a serious deficiency for any energy-efficient application, especially for hybrid electrical vehicles. A promising approach for fulfilling requirements like efficiency, wear, safety and dynamics is the use of an innovative MRF-based clutch design for the transmission of power that is based on magnetorheological fluids (MRF). MRF are smart fluids with the particular characteristics of changing their apparent viscosity significantly under influence of the magnetic field. Their characteristics are fast switching times and a smooth torque control in the powertrain. In this paper, a novel clutch concept is investigated that facilitates the controlled movement of the MRF from an active torque-transmitting region into an inactive region of the shear gap. This concept enables a complete disengagement of the fluid engaging surfaces in a way that viscous drag torque can be eliminated. Therefore, a simulation based design for such MRF-based clutches is used to design the required magnetic excitation systems for enabling a well-defined safety behavior by the fluid control. Based on this approach, an MRF-based clutch is developed in detail which provides a loss-reduced alternative to conventional disengagement devices in the powertrain. The presented MRF-based clutch enables a investigation of different systems in one design by changing the magnetic excitation. Especially, different possibilities for the fail-safe behavior of the MRF-based clutch are considered to ensure a well-defined condition in electrical or hybrid powertrains in case of a system failure.
High rotational speeds for brakes and clutches based on magnetorheological fluids represent a remaining challenge for the industrial or automotive application. Beside particle centrifugation effects and rotational speed-depending no-load losses, the torque characteristic is an important property that needs to considered in the design process of actuators. Due to missing experimental data for these operating conditions, in this paper the shear rate and flux depending yield stress behavior of magnetorheological uids is experimentally investigated for high rotational speeds or respectively high shear rates. Therefore a brake actuator with variable shear gap heights up to 4 mm is designed, realized and used for the experimental investigation, which are performed for a maximum shear rate of ƴ= 34; 000 s<sup>-1</sup> under large magnetic elds. The measurement results point out a strong dependency between shear rate, magnetic ux density and resulting yield stress. For low shear gap heights, a significant reduction in the yield stress up to 10 % can be determined. Additionally the development of Taylor vortices is determined, which will not only occur in viscous case without an applied magnetic field. The measurement results are important for a reliable actuator design which should be used in application with high rotational speeds.