The magnetorheological (MR) control valve is a major component in MR fluid systems to achieve controllable pressure drop or damping characteristics in practice. However, the optimal design of MR control valve is fairly complex due to large extent of design parameters from both magnetic flux generation and mechanical flow characteristics, as well as different requirements or constraints in practical applications. In this paper, the analytical electro-mechanic-magnetic coupling model of the MR control valve with annular-radial flow path is firstly investigated to quantitatively predict the relationship between design parameters and achievable performances such as pressure drop and dynamic range etc.. And then comparison results based on analytical analysis and finite element method are presented to validate the effect model utilized in MR valves. Consequently, a performance-oriented optimization of MR control valves with annular-radial flow path in a non-dimensional design concept is developed through minimizing reciprocal of dynamic range and identifying several optimal internal design parameters subject to predefined constraints under fairly less quantity of combined external design parameters.Finally, the inherent sensitivity of achievable performances with respect to external design parameters is analyzed to provide practical instructions for appropriate specification of the MR control valve.

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