Development and characterization of a multi-layer magnetorheological elastomer isolator based on a Halbach array
Most existing vibration isolators and dampers based on magnetorheological (MR) materials need electrical power to feed magnetic coils to stimulate the MR material, so if there is a loss of power, such as during a strong earthquake or system failure, they are unable to protect the structure. This paper outlines the design and test of a controllable multilayered magnetorheological elastomer (MRE) isolator based on a circular dipolar Halbach array; which is a set of magnets that generates a strong and uniform magnetic field. Combining an MRE layered isolator system with the Halbach array allows for constant vibration isolation with very low power consumption, where the power generated is only used to adjust the Halbach position. When this system was tested it successfully altered the lateral stiffness and damping force by 81.13% and 148.72%, respectively. This paper also includes an extended analysis of the magnetic field generated by the circular dipolar Halbach array and a discussion of the improvements that may potentially improve the range of magnetic fields generated.
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