In recent years, Magneto-rheological (MR) fluid has drawn a lot of attention for its applications in a variety of torque transmission devices, such as brakes, clutches and soft starters of mechanical equipment. Compared with the conventional clutch of vehicle, the novel MR clutch has the advantages of fast response with electronic signal, accuracy control and simple structure without mechanical wear in plates. Besides, MR clutch may be helpful to fast response of vehicle in some situation. Nowadays, most applications of MR fluids in the torque transmission field mainly are used in low-power situation. As far as we know, the proposed effective methods enhancing the output torque of MR devices will increase either the number of fluid gaps or the magnetic field in the MR fluid.
This article presents a novel vehicle clutch utilizing magnetorheological fluid and multiple-disc structure. In order to be used in vehicle, the clutch utilizes a new multiple-disc transmission form to increase the output torque and disperses the heat due to the friction on the whole working faces. The design of the proposed MR clutch will be described in this paper, such as the form of the transmission, the output torque, the magnetic circuit and the fluid characteristics. Then, a magneto-static simulation method is introduced to validate the designed magnetic circuit. A simulation model of the prototype was experimented to get the results concerning the torque transmission and power consumption. The experimental results showed the MR clutch can meet the required of vehicle. Furthermore, the theory and the simulation model parameters can be used to develop the MR clutch model and prototype.