In the present paper we investigated the behaviour of magnetorheological fluids (MRFs) under a hydrostatic pressure up to 40 bar. We designed, manufactured and tested a magnetorheological damper (MRD) with a novel architecture which provides the control of the internal pressure. The pressure was regulated by means of an additional apparatus connected to the damper that acts on the fluid volume. The MRD was tested under sinusoidal inputs and with several values of magnetic field and internal pressure. The results show that the new architecture is able to work without a volume compensator and bear high pressures. On the one hand, the influence of hydrostatic pressure on the yield stress of MRFs is not strong probably because the ferromagnetic particles cannot arrange themselves into thicker columns. On the other hand, the benefits of the pressure on the behaviour of the MRD are useful in terms of preventing cavitation.

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