A geometrical optimization of a magneto-rheological rotary brake in a prosthetic knee

K. H. Gudmundsson, F. Jonsdottir, F. Thorsteinsson, Halldór Pálsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)


Magneto-rheological (MR) fluids have been successfully introduced to prosthetic devices. One such device is a biomechanical prosthetic knee that uses MR fluids to actively control its rotary stiffness. The brake is rotational, utilizing the MR fluid in shear mode. In this study, the geometrical design of the MR brake is addressed. This includes the design of the magnetic circuit and the geometry of the fluid chamber. Mathematical models are presented that describe the rotary torque of the brake. A novel perfluorinated polyether (PFPE)-based MR fluid is introduced, whose properties are tailored for the prosthetic knee. On-state and off-state rheological measurements of the MR fluid are presented. The finite element method is used to evaluate the magnetic flux density in the MR fluid. The design is formulated as an optimization problem, aiming to maximize the braking torque. A parametric study is carried out for several design parameters. Subsequently, a multi-objective optimization problem is defined that considers three design objectives: the field-induced braking torque, the off-state rotary stiffness and the weight of the brake. Trade-offs between the three design objectives are investigated which provides a basis for informed design decisions on furthering the success of the MR prosthetic knee.

Original languageEnglish
Article number035023
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010


Dive into the research topics of 'A geometrical optimization of a magneto-rheological rotary brake in a prosthetic knee'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this