Active Shock Absorbers

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Active shock absorbers are used in several kinds of machines and vehicles (for example, in a seat, as shown in the graphic). An active shock absorber is basically a damped harmonic oscillator with spring constant for a mass . This technology uses magnetorheological fluids that change their damping factor when a magnetic field is applied. Three different damping functions are considered here.

Contributed by: Enrique Zeleny (January 2013)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA



The equation for the system is , where can be chosen according to the application.


[1] P. Blanchard, R. L. Devaney, and G. R. Hall, Differential Equations, 4th ed., Boston: Brooks/Cole, 2012 pp. 454–456.

[2] G. Stix, "Project Skyhook," Scientific American, 284(5) pp. 28–29.

[3] Wikipedia. "Magnetorheological Fluid." (Jan 15, 2012)

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