© 2020 Elsevier B.V. With the aim of studying the microscopic characteristics of a magnetorheological fluid (MRF) in a magnetic field, the theoretical analyses of the particles dynamics in a magnetic field are presented, and a model for the particle motion is proposed. Based on these analyses, a three-dimensional numerical simulation of the microstructure of MRFs in different magnetic fields is performed. Furthermore, the microstructures of the MRFs are investigated using industrial computed tomography (CT) imaging. The numerical simulation and industrial CT results indicate that the chain structure of the same MRF becomes more apparent as the magnetic field strength increases, and in the same external magnetic field, this chain structure also becomes more apparent with an increase in the particle volume fraction. The lengths of particle chains in different magnetic fields are also captured in the industrial CT experiments. When the magnetic field strength is 12 mT, the particle chains of the MRF with a particle volume fraction of 30% reach more than 10 mm in length, which bridge the inner diameter of the container, and the dense clusters-like structure is formed, the clusters-like structure becomes denser with an increase in magnetic field. Moreover, the particle chain lengths of MRF with high particle volume fractions increase sharply with the magnetic field. The experiments demonstrated that the industrial CT is an efficient method to study the microstructures of MRFs by providing particle distributions of MRFs more clearly and intuitively.
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