This study addresses experimental evaluation of a semi-active vibration isolation system using a self-powered magnetorheological (MR) damper. To this end, a self-powered MR damper was constructed by electronically connecting an MR damper with a power harvesting dynamic vibration absorber (DVA) that can convert mechanical energy due to vibration and shock into electrical energy by means of electromagnetic induction. In this study, an MR damper for seat suspensions of the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) was chosen for the application of the self-powered MR damper. The generated voltage, current, and power of the power harvesting DVA were experimentally measured in frequency domain under various acceleration levels of 0.3–1.2 g (where one g = 9.81 m/s2). In addition, damper force testing of the self-powered MR damper (i.e., in this study, a prototype EFV MR damper with the power harvesting DVA) was experimentally conducted in time and frequency domains. To evaluate vibration isolation performance of a semi-active isolation system using the self-powered MR damper, an EFV seat suspension mockup using the self-powered MR damper was constructed. Under eight different representative random excitation accelerations, the vibration isolation performance of the EFV seat suspension mockup using the self-powered MR damper was experimentally evaluated.

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