This paper presents the procedure used for design, fabrication, testing, and numerical modeling of a magnetorheological (MR) damper that is to be applied for vibration control in a 70-ton railcar. MR dampers are semiactive vibration control devices whose damping characteristics can be modified in real time by varying an applied current. Design parameters for the MR damper are estimated from those exhibited by a linear viscous damper that exerts the necessary force required to limit vertical vibrations of the rail truck within acceptable limits. An MR damper is fabricated by modifying the piston of a standard hydraulic damper to function as a solenoid. The assembled MR damper is tested in a uniaxial testing machine by subjecting it to sinusoidal and random displacements while simultaneously varying the current flowing in the solenoid. A variable magnetic field is applied to the MR fluid that fills the damper cavity and the resisting force exerted by the damper is recorded. Data collected in the laboratory are used to train a fuzzy model of the MR damper that characterizes its behavior. Results indicate that a fuzzy model of the MR damper can predict its behavior with a sufficient degree of accuracy while requiring minimal computational time.

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