Motion System Design

Collaboration targets Magneto-Rheological technology

A longterm strategic collaboration agreement between Lord Corp., Cary, N.C., and MagneShoc, Div. of Arre Industries Inc., Atlanta, will allow the two companies to provide military and commercial customers with complete Magneto-Rheological (MR) systems including dampers, electronics, and software/algorithms. Since the late 1990s, MagneShock has been manufacturing MR dampers for custom suspension systems and Lord has been supplying commercial MR fluid, devices, and systems.

“MagneShock and Lord have a long history of collaboration,” said Gerry Estes, vice president of business development for Lord. “Few companies have MagneShock's custom suspension experience including projects on the HMMWV, M915, MXT, Class-A Motor homes, and other vehicles.”

Lord's MR technology is based on a fluid used in damper, mount, brake, and clutch designs incorporating computer control algorithms. When exposed to a magnetic field, MR materials change apparent viscosity almost instantly and with complete reversibility, providing fast and variable control of energy dissipation for military, industrial, and automotive devices. The technology improves performance and reduces part counts, complexity, package size, and weight when compared with other advanced suspension technologies.

Unlike a passively damped suspension system with fixed damping characteristics, sophisticated control algorithms sense the manner in which the vehicle is being operated and adjust the damping rate thousands of times per second. This provides improved dynamic stability over passively damped systems, thereby reducing the risk of rollover and increasing safe maneuverability speed. This in turn reduces occupant fatigue and equipment shock due to vibration, and reduces wear and tear on suspension and drive train components, particularly on vehicles with heavy loads.

MagneShock's systems have sophisticated sensors integrated into the dampers and are designed to fit into existing shock absorber mountings. This eliminates the need for vehicle redesign and simplifies installation.

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