Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Mechanical, Materials, Mechatronic and Biomedical Engineering


This thesis successfully expanded the idea of variable damping and stiffness (VSVD) from linear magnetorheological dampers (MR) to rotary magnetorheological dampers; and explored the applications of rotary MR dampers on the robotic arms and seat suspension.

The idea of variable damping and stiffness has been proved to be able to reduce vibration to a large degree. Variable damping can reduce the vibration amplitude and variable stiffness can shift the natural frequency of the system from excitation and prevent resonance. Linear MR dampers with the capacity of variable damping and stiffness have been studied by researchers. However, Linear MR dampers usually require larger installation space than rotary MR dampers, and need more expensive MR fluids to fill in their chambers. Furthermore, rotary MR dampers are inherently more suitable than linear MR dampers in rotary motions like braking devices or robot joints. Hence, rotary MR dampers capable of simultaneously varying the damping and stiffness are very attractive to solve angular vibration problems. Out of this motivation, a rotary VSVD MR damper was designed, prototyped, with its feature of variable damping and stiffness verified by experimental property tests in this thesis. Its mathematical model was also built with the parameters identified. The experimental tests indicated that it has a 141.6% damping variation and 618.1% stiffness variation. This damper’s successful development paved the way for the applications of rotary MR dampers with the similar capability of variable damping and stiffness.

This thesis is unavailable until Tuesday, July 12, 2022



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.