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Can you all tell me your experiences with the Magnetic Ride Suspension? Does it do what it is suppose to? Can you tell the difference between the touring and sport modes? Is it trouble free? Reliable or unreliable? How does it perform on the worst of roads full of potholes? Is it worth the cost? On a Corvette the replacement costs are as follows: Front $589.00 each Rear 500.00 each and these are discounted prices. I am trying to decide out of the 3 different suspensions offerred on a Corvette which one will not beat me up on these bad roads. For us long haulers who tend to keep our cars a long time is the replacement costs on those shocks (regular maintenance item) worth the money? I ask this because this system has been out with Cadillac the longest. :thumbs
 

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:glol Is this a forum or a mortuary? :reddevil Anybody out there? :nopity :mad :rolleyes :rant
 

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The Economist on MR fluids

I haven't the slightest idea how to answer your question, but I did come back across this article from the June 14, 204 issue of the Economist's Technology Quarterly -- complete with a picture of a Xenon Blue XLR! :)

http://economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=2724363 ->

MR fluids are the most widely used kind of smart fluid. They can resist large forces more efficiently than ER fluids, since they require less energy to change their properties. The world leader in the commercial development of MR-fluid technology is Lord Corporation, of Cary, North Carolina, a private firm with an interest in vibration and motion control. Its first commercial success came in 1997, using MR fluids to dampen vibration for drivers of 18-wheel trucks. Then Lord, along with Delphi Corporation, of Troy, Michigan, a former subsidiary of General Motors and a big supplier of car parts, applied MR fluids to car suspension.

The result, called MagneRide, first appeared on Cadillac's Seville models and is now standard equipment on its XLR convertible roadster, and an option on some other models. Sensors monitor the profile of the road surface and provide a permanent stream of information as to what damping is necessary. An electromagnetic coil inside the piston of the damper creates a magnetic field that adjusts the viscosity of the fluid up to provide continuously variable damping. Unlike traditional suspension, the system has no electromechanical valves or small moving parts that wear out, and provides particularly good control at low frequencies. The industry also claims it offers a smoother ride and improves road-holding. The only problem is its high price. About 100,000 cars with MagneRide suspension have been sold since production started in 2002, says David Hoptry of Delphi. So far only General Motors is using the technology, and only in luxury, high-end sports and specialist vehicles. But as the price of the technology falls it will, he predicts, spread into cheaper cars too.

Ford, another carmaker, is researching other applications of MR fluids. It thinks they will be useful one day in automotive suspension, but that they are still too expensive. Instead, Ford is concentrating on their use in automatic clutches. Prototype designs being studied at Ford's Scientific Research Laboratories are extremely quiet compared with mechanical clutches, and can engage gradually by slowly increasing the strength of the magnetic field. This reduces noise and means the car pulls away smoothly. Ford is also examining the use of smart fluids to make quieter air-conditioning compressors.

Steady improvements in the technologies used to control smart fluids, such as microprocessors and sensors, are opening up a diverse range of new markets. Lord, for example, has figured out how to use MR fluids to reduce vibration in washing machines. Its system works well; again, the barrier to adoption is cost. MR fluids are also appearing in much larger structures. Japan's National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, in Tokyo, has installed seismic-scale MR-fluid dampers developed by Lord. They are integrated with the building's structure and are designed to act as huge shock absorbers in the event of an earthquake, soaking up energy and protecting the building from damage. Large MR-fluid dampers are also being put into bridges, such as the Dong Ting Lake Bridge in China's Hunan province, to steady it in high winds.
 
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