Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

Advanced electro-rheological fluids and complementary devices

Research was carried out with respect to the development and exploitation of electro-rheological (ER) fluids. These are materials that have the unique property of changing from liquid to solid and back again in a fraction of a second when a voltage is applied and removed. Various mathematical models were developed covering the main features of electro-rheological (ER) fluids. The models covered the behaviour of ER fluid when subjected to an electric field from both a microscopic and macroscopic point of view. Additional models were developed covering electrical phenomena, especially those detailing edge effects and field distribution between electrodes. These models were underpinned by extensive data collected from a range of proprietary equipment as well as equipment especially developed for the project. Basic data was used subsequently for the design of hardware and the development of improved fluids. A range of improved fluids was developed based on inorganic materials and polymeric materials. During the course of the project alternative ER fluids developed by other suppliers became available and were assessed in light of existing materials. Hardware developed included anti-vibration mounts, linear dampers, tactile arrays, and acoustic devices. These devices were augmented by power supplies and appropriate control technologies.