Mag­netic ride con­trol

Herald Sun - Motoring - - How Stuff Works -

MAG­NETIC Ride Con­trol, as used by Holden Spe­cial Ve­hi­cles and Audi in a slightly dif­fer­ent ver­sion, is an ac­tive sus­pen­sion tech­nol­ogy that re­acts con­stantly and — in our ex­pe­ri­ence — seam­lessly to the mer­est change in the road’s sur­face or driver’s in­puts. The cen­tral con­trol­ling unit can al­ter the damp­ing ev­ery 1000th of a sec­ond.

It uses mag­neto rhe­o­log­i­cal (MR) flu­id­based mono­tube struts, mono­tube shock ab­sorbers, a po­si­tion sen­sor set and an on­board con­troller.

The MR fluid is a sus­pen­sion of mag­net­i­cally ‘‘soft’’ par­ti­cles that ex­hibit a ran­dom pat­tern when there is no cur­rent ap­plied to it — as in con­ven­tional shock ab­sorber fluid.

The clever bit comes as the cur­rent ap­plied to the damper in­creases. The cur­rent causes a mag­netic field, which aligns the soft par­ti­cles into fi­brous struc­tures, chang­ing the MR fluid to a near-plas­tic state as the cur­rent gets stronger.

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