Vibration characteristics of MR cantilever sandwich beams: experimental study

The concept of vibration controllability with smart fluids within flexible structures has been in the centre of interest in the past two decades. Although much research has been done on structures with embedded electrorheological (ER) fluids, there has been little investigation of magnetorheological (MR) fluid adaptive structures. In particular, a body of research on experimental work of cantilever MR beams is still lacking. This experimental study investigates controllability of vibration characteristics of magnetorheological cantilever sandwich beams. These adaptive structures are produced by embedding an MR fluid core between two elastic layers. The structural behaviour of the MR beams can be varied by applying an external magnetic field to activate the MR fluid. The stiffness and damping structural characteristics are controlled, demonstrating vibration suppression capabilities of MR fluids as structural elements. MR beams were fabricated with two different materials for comparison purposes. Diverse excitation methods were considered as well as a range of magnetic field intensities and configurations. Moreover, the cantilever MR beams were tested in horizontal and vertical configurations. The effects of partial and full activation of the MR beams were outlined based on the results obtained. Controllability of the beam’s vibration response was observed in the form of variations in vibration amplitudes and shifts in magnitudes of the resonant natural frequency.