Electrorheological dampers, Part II: Testing and modeling
Electrorheological (ER) materials develop yield stresses on the order of 5-10 kPa in the presence of strong electric fields. Viscoelastic and yielding material properties can be modulated within milli-seconds. An analysis of flowing ER materials in the limiting case of fully developed steady flow results in simple approximations for use in design. Small-scale experiments show that these design equations can be applied to designing devices in which the flow is unsteady. More exact models of ER device behavior can be determined using curve-fitting techniques in multiple dimensions. A previously known curve-fitting technique is extended to deal with variable electric fields. Experiments are described which illustrate the potential for ER devices in large-scale damping applications and the accuracy of the modeling technique.