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Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences
2013
Fabrication and characterisation of paterned
magnetorheological elastomers
Weihua Li
University of Wollongong, weihuali@uow.edu.au
Xianzhou Zhang
University of Wollongong, xianzhou@uow.edu.au
Tongfei Tian
University of Wollongong, t436@uowmail.edu.au
Weijia Wen
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
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Publication Details
Li, W., Zhang, X., Tian, T. & Wen, W. (2013). Fabrication and characterisation of paterned magnetorheological elastomers. In A. Yu,
K. Dong, R. Yang & S. Luding (Eds.), Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Micromechanics (pp. 129132). Australia:
AIP Publishing.
Fabrication and characterisation of paterned magnetorheological
elastomers
Abstract
Magnetorheological elastomers (MREs) are composites that highly elastic polymer matrices are flled with
magnetic particles. Tese materials exhibit unique characteristics that their modului can be controlled by an
external magnetic feld. Tis paper presents analysis, fabrication and characterization of novel paterned
MREs. By taking into account the local magnetic feld in MREs and particles' interaction magnetic energy, the
magnetic felddependent mechanical properties of MREs with latice and BCC structures were theoretically
analyzed and numerically simulated. Sof magnetic particles were assembled in polydimethylsioxane matrix to
fabricate new MREs with uniformly latice and BCC structures, which were observed by microscope. Te
felddependent modulus of the new MREs was characterized by a parallelplate rheometer. Te experimental
results agreed well with numerical simulations. 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.
Keywords
fabrication, magnetorheological, characterisation, elastomers, paterned
Disciplines
Engineering  Science and Technology Studies
Publication Details
Li, W., Zhang, X., Tian, T. & Wen, W. (2013). Fabrication and characterisation of paterned
magnetorheological elastomers. In A. Yu, K. Dong, R. Yang & S. Luding (Eds.), Proceedings of the 7th
International Conference on Micromechanics (pp. 129132). Australia: AIP Publishing.
Tis conference paper is available at Research Online: htp://ro.uow.edu.au/eispapers/1240
Fabrication and Characterisation of Patterned
Magnetorheological Elastomers
Weihua Li
1
, Xianzhou Zhang
1
, Tongfei Tian
1
, and Weijia Wen
2
1
School of Mechanical, Materials and Mechatronic Engineering, University of Wollongong
Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
2
Department of Physics, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong
Kong
Abstract. Magnetorheological elastomers (MREs) are composites that highly elastic polymer matrices are filled with
magnetic particles. These materials exhibit unique characteristics that their modului can be controlled by an external
magnetic field. This paper presents analysis, fabrication and characterization of novel patterned MREs. By taking into
account the local magnetic field in MREs and particles' interaction magnetic energy, the magnetic fielddependent
mechanical properties of MREs with lattice and BCC structures were theoretically analyzed and numerically simulated.
Soft magnetic particles were assembled in polydimethylsioxane matrix to fabricate new MREs with uniformly lattice
and BCC structures, which were observed by microscope. The fielddependent modulus of the new MREs was
characterized by a parallelplate rheometer. The experimental results agreed well with numerical simulations.
Keywords: magnetorheological elastomers, fielddependent modulus, microstructures.
PACS: 83.80.Gv; 87.16.dm; 83.10.Tv
INTRODUCTION
Magnetorheological (MR) materials, including MR
fluids, MR foams and MR elastomers, are an
important branch of smart materials [1]. For the past
two decades, MR fluids have obtained considerable
attractions and a variety of applications have been
reported [25]. MREs are composites that highly
elastic polymer matrices are filled with magnetic
particles. MREs and MR fluids have similar field
response properties; however, there are some distinct
differences in operating these two classes of materials.
The most noteworthy is that MREs operate within the
preyield regime while MR fluids typically operate in
a postyield continuous shear or flow regime. In other
words, the strength of MR fluids is characteristised
by the yield stress while MREs are characterized by
field dependent modulus. In the view of applications,
MREs devices are used to adjust the nature frequency
of a structure, which is dominated by the equivalent
stiffness; while MR fluids devices provide damping
function, which is the process of dissipating energy.
Therefore, these two materials are complementary
rather than competitive. Recently, MREs have found a
lot of applications, such as vibration absorbers, engine
mounts, and variable impedance surfaces [6, 7].
In literature, both anisotropic [8, 9] and isotropic
[10,11] MREs were fabricated and their mechanical
properties have been investigated analytically and
experimentally. In analyzing the fielddependent
modulus of MREs, a number of models were proposed
based on the analysis of the dipole model for particle
energy interaction. J olly et al. [12] presented a point
dipole model, where the MR effect was studied as a
function of particle magnetization. This model was
borrowed from the previous studies on MR fluids.
Davis [13] calculated the shear increment by using
finite element analysis, which was for isolated single
chains of periodically spaced dipoles. Shen et al. [14]
fabricated MREs with polyurethane and natural rubber
matrix and presented a mathematical model to
represent the stressstrain relationship of MRE. This
model takes into account all the dipole interactions in a
chain. Zhang et al. [15] proposed a model considering
the local field. It is noted that these modeling studies
are based on the assumption that MREs only have
simple chain structure, where all particles are located
within chains. There are very few reports in discussing
the influence of other chains and in predicting the
fielddependent properties with other complex
structures. It may be due to the fact that it is difficult to
find an effective fabrication technique in developing
MREs with precisely controlled structures. Also, the
modeling approach on the fielddependent properties
of MREs with complex structures is very rare.
This paper consists of two major parts. The first is
to theoretically analyze the fielddependent properties
of MREs with a predesigned structure. The second
part is to fabricate MREs with predesigned structures
by using
fielddep
THE
A latt
is propos
figure 1.
three dir
local ma
induced b
dipole fie
the inter
particles
FIGURE
and the m
Local M
When
dipole mo
where
p
particles
of particl
where H
0
field caus
Suppo
the direc
particles
vector po
magnetic
can be ex
A
x
=
A
=
A
z
=
Where si
g micro techn
pendent mecha
E SIMULA
PATTE
tice structure
sed to introdu
In each lay
ections are dx
agnetic field w
by the extern
elds from all
raction energy
in the structur
1. Schematic o
agnetic field ind
Magnetic Fi
n a magnetic f
oment induced
m
=
p
and
m
are
and medium,
le. The local m
H
lo
H
0
is initial ma
sed by dipole
ose that in figu
ction of Z a
have been ma
otential A at
c dipole mome
xpressed as:
= Asin0 =
0
4n
= Acos 0 =
= u
in0 = yx
2
nology and to
anical properti
ATION ANA
ERNED M
based MRE c
uce the simul
yer the distan
dx, dy and dz,
was firstly ca
al magnetic f
the magnetiz
y of a partic
re was represe
of the MREs w
duced by a dipo
ield And M
field H
0
is app
d on a particle
S
p

m
p
+2
m
I
p
E
e the relative
, respectively;
magnetic field
oc
=H
0
+H
p
agnetic field a
moment of all
ure 1 magnetic
axis and all
agnetized as d
the zero poin
ent m at the p
0
n
(x
2
+
2
+z
2
)
3
0
4n

(x
2
+y
2
+y
2
, cos 0 =
characterize
es.
ALYSIS OF
MRE
consisting m l
lation approac
nces of particl
, respectively.
alculated, whi
field as well a
zed particles.
le with all o
ented.
with a lattice stru
ole.
Magnetic Di
plied, the mag
e is:
E
Ioc
permeabilitie
; V
p
is the vo
H
loc
is given b
and H
p
is mag
l particles.
c field is appli
the magneti
dipoles. A mag
nt induced by
position P (x,
2
m
x
2
+ z
2
)
32
m
= xx
2
+y
their
F
layers
ch in
les in
. The
ich is
as the
Then
others
ucture
pole
gnetic
(1)
es of
olume
by
(2)
gnetic
ied in
izable
gnetic
y the
y, z)

(3)
2
.
Fo
B=
ma
inf
wh
In
can
and
the
str
E
int
(Th
int
has
is t
stru
Th
com
By
as
the
fie
par
str
or B = 7 A
B
x
=
B
=
B
z
=
=B
x
i+ B
y
j +B
z
k
agnetic flux de
fluence factor
The magnetic
here =(
p

m
)
nteraction E
D
The interacti
n be expressed
E
12
=
Assuming on
d the other dip
e interaction e
rength m and d
E
12
=
0
m
m
4n
For the par
teraction energ
E =
When the pa
he magnetic fi
teraction energ
E =
=1
In this paper
s been deduce
too complex i
ructure, the x,
he shear for
mbination of
y defining the
e = xz, i.e
e modulus ind
eld can be com
rticle energy d
rain and divide
0 =
3
0
=1
0
4n
S
(x
2
+y
2
0
4n

(x
2
+y
2
0
4n
x
2
+y
(x
2
+y
2
k and E
p
=
ensity induced
calculated wit
c dipole mome
m
=
3
1
)/(
p
+2
m
) .
Energy Of P
Dependent M
ion energy of
d as:
m
4n
(
m
1
m
2
3

ne dipole is l
pole is located
energy of the
direction is

2
[
13cos
2
q

3
=
rticle at the
gy with all the
m
m
2
(
4n(x
i
2
=1
articles are m
field direction
gy can be writ
m
m
2
((x
i
+
4n((x
i
+x
i
)
2 1
r, only the sim
ed, because the
in this case. H
y axis shears
rce in any
the one direc
scalar shear s
e. the shear d
duced by the a
mputed by takin
density with r
ed by the shear
m
m
2
z(x
i
+sz
i
)
4ns(x
i
2
+2x
i
sz
i
Sxy
2
+z
2
)
52
m
Syz
2
+ z
2
)
52
m
y
2
+2z
2
2
+ z
2
)
52
m
B
i
=1
m wh
d by the dipole
th the simulati
ent on a partic
3[v
p
3[v
p
E
0
Particles A
Modulus
f two dipoles

3
S
(m
1
r)(m
ocated at the
d at the positio
e two dipoles
=
m
2
(13
x
2
+
4n
0
m
(x
2
+
e coordinate
e particles is
(13
z
i
2
x
i
2
+j
i
2
+z
i
2
+
i
2
+z
i
2
)
32
moved in the
is along with
tten as
x
i
)
2
+(
i
+
i
)
2
2
+(
i
+
i
)
2
+z
i
2
mple shear in
e deduction of
However, for a
have the same
other directi
ction shears in
train of the pa
direction is in
application of
ng the derivat
respect to the s
r strain.
)(4z
2
x
i
2
2x
i
sz
+s
2
z
i
2
+
i
2
+z
2
)

m

(4)
here B
i
is the
e i. D is the
ion.
cle is
(5)
nd Field
m
1
and m
2
m
2
r)) (6)
zero point,
on (x, y, z),
with equal
z
2
+j
2
+z
2
)
2
+z
2
)
32
(7)
origin, its
)
(8)
XY plane
Z axis), the
2z
i
2
)
)
S2
(9)
x direction
f a 3D shear
an isotropic
e behaviors.
ion is the
n x, y axis.
article chain
the x axis,
f a magnetic
ive of inter
scalar shear
z
i
s
2
z
i
2

i
2
)
2
v
unit
(10)
where V
u
particle. F
=dxdydz
The
In this w
corning
Universa
a matrix
FIGURE
patterned
(c) lattice
A pat
which is
holes etc
holes and
the moul
PDMS i
patterned
mould. T
to design
with PD
Finally
temperatu
moulds a
of MREs
Center C
Two c
study, a
structure
Leica DF
dispersed
iron ball
between
direction
layers ar
unit
is the unit v
For example,
z, as shown in
e Fabricatio
work, polydi
184) material
al Ball Manufa
and dispersed
2. The fabri
MREs. (a) patt
structure; (d) B
tterned mould
s a methylm
ched by laser.
d then a thin
lds top surfac
is cured, th
d magnetic iro
Then several la
ned position a
MS and rem
patterned M
ure oven (fi
and overlappin
s can be obtai
ubic (BCC).
categories of s
as the lattice
sample (figur
FC280 Micros
d on the layer
l in sample
particles in
are 800 um a
re prepared i
volume of the
the lattice stru
n figure 1.
on Of Patte
methylsiloxan
and pure iro
acturing Co. C
particles, resp
ication process
terned mould; (
BCC structure.
was prepared
methacrylate b
Pure iron bal
layer of PDM
ce to fix partic
e thin layer
on particles w
ayers were ove
and thickness
move air bubb
MRE was cu
igure 2b). B
ng positions, d
ned, such as l
structures wer
e structure s
re 2c & 2d). T
scope show tha
r regularly. Th
one is 400 u
plane and
and 480 um, r
in the thickne
e structure with
ructure has the
rned MRE
ne (PDMS) (
on balls (Shen
China) were us
pectively.
s and structur
(b) fabrication
at first (figure
board with re
lls were filled
MS was locate
cles position.
r embedded
was taken off
erlapped acco
s, and fill the
bles in a vac
ured in con
By using diff
different struc
lattice chain, B
re fabricated in
sample and
The photos take
at the particle
he diameter o
um, the dista
that in thick
respectively. T
ess direction.
h one
e V
unit
Es
(Dow
nzhen
sed as
res of
steps;
e 2a),
egular
d into
ed on
After
with
from
ording
e gap
cuum.
nstant
ferent
ctures
Body
n this
BCC
en by
es are
of the
ances
kness
Three
The
par
10
me
app
An
ele
san
FIG
at
res
eva
the
sam
10
mo
ma
loo
ind
obt
sam
wit
vo
27
ma
a
ma
fac
of
vo
MR
latt
dec
exa
tw
is
dev
rameters in sa
00 um, respec
RESUL
The MR effe
easuring the
plied magneti
nton Paar Com
ectromagnet
ndwiched betw
GURE 3. The s
different magn
sults.
The QuasiS
aluate the she
e strainstress
mple at 5 dif
0, 200, 300
odulus of MR
agnetic fields
oked as the c
duced stress
tained by the
mple. Obviou
th experiment
For a chainli
lume fraction
% and the rela
agnetic field w
relatively low
agnetic field o
ct that the sam
11%. To imp
lume fraction
The fielddep
RE was calcu
tice structure
creasing trend
ample, the m
o orders highe
very interest
velop negativ
ample two are
ctively.
LTS AND D
ect of patterne
shear modulu
ic field using
mpanies, Germ
kit. The r
ween a rotary d
strain stress cur
netic field: sim
Static shear m
ear modulus o
curves of th
fferent magnet
0 and 400kA
REs shows a
. The shear
combination o
of MRE. T
e program an
usly, the mode
tal results.
ike structure b
n of iron parti
ative change i
was 50% [7]. H
w modulus i
of 400 kA/m. T
mple has a low
prove the fiel
of particle mu
pendent modu
ulated by Eqn
MRE, the BC
d with magne
modulus chang
er than that at
ting as it ma
ve MREs, wh
e 800 um, 10
DISCUSSIO
d MRE was e
us with and
a Rheometer
many), equipp
rubber segm
disk and a bas
rve of lattice str
mulation and
mode was em
of MRE. Figu
he lattice struc
tic field inten
A/m, respect
an increasing
stress in the
of elastic stres
The simulation
nd the parame
el prediction a
based MRE, th
icles was pred
in modulus du
However, our
increment of
This is mainly
w particle volu
ld induced m
ust be increase
ulus change of
n (10). In con
CC based MR
etic field (fig
ge at 300 kA/
t 100 kA/m. T
ay provide a
hich are expec
000 um and
ONS
evaluated by
without an
(MRD 180,
ped with an
ments were
se.
ructural MRE
experimental
mployed to
ure 3 shows
ctural MRE
nsities of 0,
tively. The
trend with
e figures is
ss and field
n result is
eters of the
agreed well
he optimum
dicted to be
ue to a large
sample has
18% in a
y due to the
ume fraction
modulus, the
ed.
f BCC based
ntract to the
RE shows a
ure 4). For
/m is about
This finding
concept to
cted to wide
potential
Also, the
steadily w
verify
experime
shown in
decreasin
noted tha
reason o
fraction a
the fabri
because o
results m
MREs w
designing
FIGURE
modulus
elastomer
In this pa
structure
precisely
Both the
layer thic
layer are
MRE sam
The f
patterned
and expe
static mo
field was
dipole in
the local
interactio
approach
under ste
the MRE
modulus
400 kA/
results an
applications
e fielddepend
with the rise
the simulati
ents were co
n figure 5, w
ng trend with
at the modulus
f which are d
and the high m
cated BCC M
of it narrow m
might provide
with controlla
g special patte
4. The relati
and particles
CON
aper, two new
and a BCC
y positioning i
e MRE sampl
ckness is 480
e 800m. The
mples is about
fielddependen
d MRE were
erimentally. I
odel that exa
s presented. Th
teractions cau
l field induce
on energy of a
h, the fielddep
eady shear by
E sample wit
increment is a
/m. The com
nd modelpred
of MREs in
dent modulus
of particle vo
ion analysis
onducted and
where modulus
a magnetic f
s change is no
due to the low
matrix modul
MREs have li
modulus chang
concepts to d
able mechani
erned structure
ionship betwee
s volume frac
NCLUSION
w MR elastom
C structure, w
iron particles
les consist of
m, the particl
particle volu
11%.
nt mechanical
investigated
In numerical
amines the ef
his model tak
used by all the
ed by all the
all the particle
pendent modu
a parallelpla
th lattice stru
about 18% at
mparison betw
dictions indica
special condit
s change incr
olume fraction
s, steady
the results
s shows a sli
field. It shoul
ot very notable
w particle vo
lus. It is noted
imited applica
ges. However,
develop other
ical propertie
es.
en the fieldre
ction in BCC
NS
mers, with a l
were fabricate
in PDMS m
f three layers.
le distances in
ume fraction o
l properties o
both numeri
analysis, a q
ffects of mag
es into accoun
e dipoles, inclu
particles and
es. In experim
ulus was mea
ate rheometer
ucture, the rel
a magnetic fie
ween experim
ates that the m
tions.
reases
n. To
shear
were
ightly
ld be
e, the
olume
d that
ations
these
r new
es by
duced
C MR
attice
ed by
matrix.
. The
n each
of the
of the
ically
quasi
gnetic
nt the
uding
d the
mental
sured
r. For
lative
eld of
mental
model
cou
MR
mo
wh
to
wit
FI
stra
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
uld precisely p
RE sample w
odulus shows
hich was never
design and d
th predesigne
IGURE 5. The
ain in BCC MR
J . D. Carlson
569 (2000).
Q. Nguyen et
(2007).
W. H. Li et al.
B. Liu et al
(2006).
Q. Nguyen, S
Struct., 17, 02
D. York, X. W
Str., 18, 1221
H. Deng, X. G
15, 111116 (2
C. Bellan and
2453 (2002).
G. Y. Zhou, Sm
. M. Lokander a
(2003).
. X. L. Gong, X
24, 669676 (2
. M. R. J olly,
Mater. Struct.,
. L. C. Davis, J.
. Y. Shen, M. F
Mat. Syst. Str.
. X. Z. Zhang e
predict materi
ith a BCC str
a decreasing t
r been reporte
develop novel
ed structures.
relationship be
R elastomer
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