The incorporation of nanoparticles of iron in a natural rubber matrix leads to flexible magnetorheological (MR) materials. Rod-shaped MR elastomers based on natural rubber and nanosized iron have been moulded both with and without the application of an external magnetic field during curing. These MR elastomer rods and filler material were characterized by X-ray powder diffraction, scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. Magnetic properties were investigated by using vibrating sample magnetometry. Microactuation studies were carried out by employing a laser Doppler vibrometer. It is seen that microactuation of field cured samples have been enhanced by two times when compared with that of zero field cured samples. The effect of alignment of magnetic particles during field-assisted curing was also studied by using a dynamic mechanical analyzer. A plausible model is put forwarded to explain the observed enhancement of actuation for field cured samples.
Volume 42 | Issue 3