ER fluid was invented in the 1940s and Smart ER fluid has been developed over the past twenty years and is now
regarded as "the best" ER fluid in the world. Smart ER fluids have been designed as a workable engineering
material, non-toxic, with high strength, and good compatibility with sealing systems.
As well as continuously improving the ER fluid properties, Smart is developing new applications and associated ER fluid
technology; Smart works closely with customers to assist in their development.
Smart Technology not only manufactures and develops ER fluids, Smart also designs and develops electronics
and software for ER fluid control. Smart's engineers have many years
experience in all aspects of engineering. Both high voltage analogue
Electro-Rheological (ER) fluids change their physical properties in the presence of an electric field.
The fluids produced by Smart Technology change from a free-flowing liquid to one with a finite static yield stress,
giving them properties consistent with a solid or gel when the field is turned on.
For a more thorough explanation of their physical behaviour,
please click here (PDF).
The speed of the transition between two states is typically less than 1 millisecond (more than 1 kHz).
This gives rise to new possibilities of fast mechanical control techniques. ER valves are fast enough,
for example, to play music through a hydraulically operated ER loudspeaker.
||The image on the left shows the two possible states of an ER fluid.
In the leftmost example the fluid is in its natural state (a liquid) that has collected in the reservoir below.
When the fluid is placed between the electrodes and an electric field is applied, the fluid solidifies and
binds to the electrodes (as seen on the right).
Please click on the picture to see a higher resolution image (loads new window).
Click here to see
a list of some users of Smart's ER Fluid
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