Multiphysics modeling of magnetorheological dampers

D Case, B Taheri, E Richer


The dynamics of a small scale magnetorheological damper were modeled and analyzed using multiphysics commercial finite element software to couple the electromagnetic field distribution with the non-Newtonian fluid flow. The magnetic flux lines and field intensity generated within the damper and cyclic fluid flow in the damper under harmonic motion were simulated with the AC/DC and CFD physics modules of COMSOL Multiphysics, respectively. Coupling of the physics is achieved through a modified Bingham plastic definition, relating the fluid's dynamic viscosity to the intensity of the induced magnetic field. Good agreement is confirmed between simulation results and experimentally observed resistance forces in the damper. This study was conducted to determine the feasibility of utilizing magnetorheological dampers in a medical orthosis for pathological tremor attenuation. The implemented models are thus dimensioned on a relatively small scale. The method used, however, is not specific to the damper's size or geometry and can be extended to larger-scale devices with little or no complication.

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