A unified understanding of magnetorheological elastomers for rapid and extreme stiffness tuning

Author(s)Barron, Edward J.
Author(s)Williams, Ella T.
Author(s)Tutika, Ravi
Author(s)Lazarus, Nathan
Author(s)Bartlett, Michael D.
Date Accessioned2024-01-22T19:24:48Z
Date Available2024-01-22T19:24:48Z
Publication Date2023-10-02
DescriptionThis article was originally published in RSC Applied Polymers. The version of record is available at: https://doi.org/10.1039/D3LP00109A. © 2023 The Author(s). Published by the Royal Society of Chemistry
AbstractMagnetorheological elastomers (MREs), which adapt their mechanical properties in response to a magnetic field, can enable changes in stiffness and shape for applications ranging from vibration isolators to shape morphing robots and soft adaptive grippers. Here, a unified design approach is introduced to create MRE materials for extreme stiffness tuning, up to 70×, with rapid (∼20 ms) and reversible shape change. This guides the creation of a hybrid MRE composite architecture that incorporates a combination of magnetic particles and magnetic fluids into elastomers. The role of both solid and fluid inclusions on magnetorheological response is systematically investigated and a predictive model is developed that captures the stiffness tuning response of MREs across diverse material microstructures and compositions. This general understanding enables MRE materials with programmable response and greatly enhanced stiffness tuning and rapid response times compared to many MRE, granular jamming, and phase change approaches. This insight is utilized to optimize composites for a soft adaptive gripper which grasps and releases objects of diverse geometries.
SponsorWe acknowledge support from the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Program (YIP) (N000142112699) and by the Army Research Laboratory under cooperative agreement number W911NF-20-2-0039. The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the Army Research Laboratory or the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Government purposes notwithstanding any copyright notation herein. This work was performed in part at the Nanoscale Characterization and Fabrication Laboratory, which is supported by the Virginia Tech National Center for Earth and Environmental Nanotechnology Infrastructure (NanoEarth), a member of the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI), supported by NSF (ECCS 1542100 and ECCS 2025151).
CitationBarron Iii, Edward J., Ella T. Williams, Ravi Tutika, Nathan Lazarus, and Michael D. Bartlett. “A Unified Understanding of Magnetorheological Elastomers for Rapid and Extreme Stiffness Tuning.” RSC Applied Polymers 1, no. 2 (2023): 315–24. https://doi.org/10.1039/D3LP00109A.
PublisherRSC Applied Polymers
dc.rightsAttribution 3.0 Unporteden
TitleA unified understanding of magnetorheological elastomers for rapid and extreme stiffness tuning
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