This paper presents a study on continuously variable stiffness control of vehicle seat suspension using a magnetorheological elastomer (MRE) isolator. A concept design for an MRE isolator is proposed in the paper and its behavior is experimentally evaluated. An integrated seat suspension model, which includes a quarter-car suspension and a seat suspension with a driver body model, is used to design a sub-optimal controller for an active isolator. The desired control force generated by this active isolator is then emulated by the MRE isolator through its continuously variable stiffness property when the actuating condition is met. The vibration control effect of the MRE isolator is evaluated in terms of driver body acceleration responses under both bump and random road conditions. The results show that the proposed control strategy achieves better vibration reduction performance than conventional on–off control.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/hdu/6/