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Surface polymerization of iron particles for magnetorheological elastomers



Magnetorheological Elastomers (MREs) are synthesized from silicone RTV (room temperature vulcanizing) elastomer with magnetically soft iron particles. The iron particle concentration of the MREs is 70 wt %. To reduce the effect of oxidation on the MREs, the ATRP technique is used for surface polymerization of iron particles with fluorinated styrene as monomer. The mechanical properties of MREs are characterized using a mechanical testing instrument, and the surface coated polymer is characterized using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray energy dispersive spectrometry (XEDS), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and the alignment of iron particles within MRE was characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The MRE samples are characterized using the mechanical testing instrument at 0 Tesla (off–state) and applied magnetic field from 0.46 Tesla to 0.62 Tesla (on–state). The required force at 0.62 Tesla increased approx. 3% to achieve 20% strain after 72 h of oxidation for surface coated MRE. On the other hand, the required force for non-surface coated MREs at 0.62 Tesla increased up to 17% to achieve 20% strain after 72 h of oxidation. MREs with surface coated iron particles have higher oxidation stability based on the force–displacement test results, and MREs have excellent potential to be used as intelligent materials with high durability for a vibration isolator. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2010