ER-Fluids Based on Polyurethane Dispersions: Structure and Properties

  • Robert Bloodworth
  • Eckhard Wendt


This paper describes the structure and properties of a new class of electrorheological fluids based on non-aqueous polyurethane dispersions. The fluids exhibit an attractive combination of properties: low viscosity, high ER effect, and low conductivity. The dispersed phase consists of a specially developed polyurethane elastomer which solvates and stabilizes metal salts. The polymer network density influences the mobility of the dissolved ions, allowing a surprising degree of control over the ER effect. Properties such as the field strength dependence of the ER-effect, switching response, and conductivity of these fluids correlate directly with changes in the polymer structure. Electrorheological measurements in a couette viscometer (shear-mode) and in a model shock absorber (flow-mode) using a commercial polyurethane-based fluid show that the ER effect is also dependent upon the shearing geometry. The implications of these results for the design and application of ER-fluids are discussed.


Shear Rate Crosslink Density Shock Absorber Electrorheological Fluid Polyurethane Dispersion 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Bloodworth
    • 1
  • Eckhard Wendt
    • 1
  1. 1.Central Research and DevelopmentBayer AGLeverkusenGermany

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