Magnetic ride control
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.