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 were developed based on inorganic and polymeric materials. During the course of the project alternative ER fluids developed by other suppliers became available and were assessed in the 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.
Smart materials and devices offer considerable advantages over conventional techniques and the application of this technology has widescale implications throughout all industrial sectors. The most promising of the smart materials are electro-rheological fluids (ER). The purpose of the program is to conduct research into ER fluids, both existing and improved, and to build advanced prototype devices based on these fluids. The program includes evaluation of the prototypes with the intention of subsequent commercial development and manufacture.
Two overall objectives can be defined; technical and industrial. The overall technical objective is to be able to predict and measure the behaviour of ER fluids. This involves development of mathematical models of fluids under different conditions and the testing of fluids under these conditions. The overall industrial objective is to produce ER based prototype devices with wide applications and which are simple,controllable, and give better performance than conventional equivalents. Work will be directed towards applications in robotics,machine tools,automotive,and flexible manufacture.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
HU6 7RX Hull