Date of Award

Spring 5-2009

Level of Access Assigned by Author

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)


Mechanical Engineering


Vincent Caccese

Second Committee Member

Mohsen Shahinpoor

Third Committee Member

Senthil Vel


Magnetic and magneto-rheological materials have been widely used in many engineering applications. Magneto-rheological and magnetic composites consist of core layers of the carrier material like fabric, sponge, silicone and the mobile or immobile very small magnetizable particles. Composite materials that contain magnetic and magneto-rheological ingredients are presently becoming very popular in shape and structure control solutions in a variety of engineering designs. Magneto-rheological properties of smart materials allow for the real time monitoring and control of material behavior. This advantage can be used during the possible rigidification processes of the structures of interest. Adequately designed magneto-rheological or magnetic composites are required to perform under different load conditions and provide the rigidification effect in a sample or a structure. Three different composites are designed and studied in this thesis: Magneto-Rheological Fabrics, Magnetic Elastomers and Magneto-Rheological Sponge Composites. Experimental set-up including custom made hardware, software and data acquisition system is designed to conduct the necessary experiments. To determine possible rigidification properties of these composites three types of experiments are conducted: tension, shear and compression. Data is successfully collected, analyzed and conclusions are drawn. The experimental results show a close correlation between the amount of magneto-rheological material present in the specimen and the final displacements in the samples. The resistance to the shear, compressive or tensile force applied during the test increases in the samples with the higher concentration of magnetic particles. The intensity of the magnetic field allows for stronger magneto-rheological effect and more stable formations of the ferrous chains inside the composites. Overall, the composites containing ferrous particles show good rigidification properties.

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