Nathan Wall, Tarleton State University

Research and Development of Low-Cost Magnetorheological Fluid

Abstract: The cost of commercially available Magnetorheological (MR) fluid prohibits its use in rehabilitation. Therefore, a research question asked whether a low-cost, usable MR fluid could be developed at a cost of $10.00 per 250 ml. During research, two 32 oz. mixing cups were filled with 250 ml. of olive oil to act as the carrier fluid, and then magnetic particles were introduced into the fluid. Between 30-40 volume percent was used for high particle loading (Bell, Zimmerman & Wereley, 2014). Once the magnetic particles were added to the carrier fluid, the combination was mixed until saturation occurred. At this point, a fixed magnetic field was applied to both mixtures to determine the reaction of the MR fluid. It was noted that in the presence of a magnetic force, the samples became semi-solid. When the fixed magnetic field was removed, the sample returned to a semi-fluid state. For this research, two magnetic particles were chosen, black iron oxide at a cost of $11.99 per 1.1 lbs. and atomized iron at a cost of $23.93 per 2.2 lbs., and both are easily obtained. The carrier fluid chosen for this research was extra virgin olive oil. The cost was $15.83 for three liters and it is also readily available. This work resulted in two low-cost MR fluids; one from black iron oxide and olive oil, the second from atomized iron and olive oil.  A 250 ml prototype sample cost $7.31 for the black iron oxide and olive oil, and $6.15 for the atomized iron and olive oil. Thus, due to the high cost of MR fluid ($300/ 250 ml), this cost saving MR fluid was incorporated into a rehabilitation project for the 2018 RESNA Student Design Competition. Concluding that a low-cost MR fluid can developed for less than $10 per 250 ml.

Bell, R.C., Zimmerman, D.T., & Werely, N.M. (2014). Magnetorheology: Advances and Applications, 32(3). RSC Publishing, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Judging Forms Official judges only