G. Barber, Q. Jiang, Q. Zou
Mar 1, 2005
Electrorheological (ER) fluids exhibit changes in their rheological behaviour in the presence of an external electric field. Research and development activities related to ER fluids and their applications have increased dramatically during the last few decades. If commercialised, ER fluids could have a significant impact on hydraulic equipment, and be utilised in the automotive, marine, aerospace, robotics, and machinery industries. The objective of the present study is to demonstrate the feasibility of using ER fluids to produce ‘smart’ lubricants that can control friction and wear of sliding components. The ER lubricant effect is demonstrated using a unique test machine that utilises hydrostatic lubrication. It is found that the friction torque increases by as much as 30% when a voltage of 2000 V is applied to an ER fluid in the newly developed test machine.