A magnetorheological fluid consists of a suspension of microscopic magnetizable particles in a non-magnetic carrier medium. In the absence of a magnetic field, the fluid behaves in a roughly Newtonian manner. When a magnetic field is produced in the same space, the microscopic particles suspended in the fluid become oriented and form chains along the magnetic flux lines, changing the fluid’s rheology. The orientation of these particle chains is crucial to producing the Bingham plastic behavior necessary for high strength-to-weight ratio magnetorheological dampers and actuators. This project uses COMSOL Multiphysics finite element software to examine the magnetic flux lines, field intensity, and non-Newtonian fluid flow within a magnetorheological damper. Several established and novel damper configurations are examined and modified to improve performance while minimizing power draw of the electromagnet.

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