Experimental Investigations of a Magneto-Rheological Brake Embedded in a Swirl Generator Apparatus
A magneto-rheological brake (MRB) is designed and embedded in a swirl generator apparatus in order to control the runner speed. Several swirling flow configurations are obtained slowing down the runner speed. The main challenge for MRB is associated with its operation under water conditions. As a result, two magneto-rheological fluids (a conventional one and one based on ferrofluid) are selected together with an appropriate sealing solution to avoid expelling the solid particles. Firstly, a commercial magneto-rheological fluid (MRF 336AG) manufactured by Lord Co. is tested in MRB. Secondly, a nano-micro composite magneto-rheological fluid, with 35% volume fraction of the micron-size iron particles (SMR 35%Fe), designed and manufactured by Magnetic Fluids Laboratory from Romanian Academy—Timisoara Branch was selected for experimental investigations. The mechanical solution designed for MRB is presented. The magneto-rheological properties determined for both MRFs are compared. Challenging investigations were performed at several runner speeds with MRB under water conditions. A relative speed variation behaviour associated with the runner rotation has been identified due to rupture and rebuild of large chain-like agglomerates in the MRF. This relative speed variation is directly correlated with the braking level of MRB. The conclusions are drawn in the last section together with the future work.
KeywordsMagneto-rheological fluids properties Magneto-rheological brake Swirl generator apparatus Speed control
The authors affiliated with the Romanian Academy—Timisoara Branch have been supported by two research programs of the Center for Fundamental and Advanced Technical Research: “Unsteady Hydrodynamics of Helical Vortex Flows” of Hydrodynamics and Cavitation Laboratory and “Magnetically controllable fluids and complex flows. Engineering and biomedical applications” of Magnetic Liquid Laboratory.
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