Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering (MSE)


Mechanical Engineering

First Committee Member

Woosoon Yim

Second Committee Member

Kwang Kim

Third Committee Member

Brendan O'Toole

Fourth Committee Member

Rama Venkat

Number of Pages



Many engineering applications ranging from robotic joints to shock and vibration mitigation can benefit by incorporating components with variable stiffness. In addition, variable stiffness structures can provide haptic feedback (the sense of touch) to the user. In this work, it is proposed to study Magnetorheological Elastomers (MRE), where iron particles within the elastomer compound develop a dipole interaction energy, to be used in a device for haptic feedback. A novel feature of this MRE device is to introduce a field-induced variable shear modulus bias via a permanent magnet and using a current input to the electromagnetic control coil to change the modulus of the elastomer in both directions (softer or harder).

In this preliminary work, both computational and experimental results of the proposed MRE design are presented. The design is created in COMSOL to verify that the magnetic field is in the desired direction. MRE was fabricated and characterized using a Bose Dynamic Mechanical Analyzer for the shear modulus. Using this information, it is possible to know how the MRE will react in magnetic fields within the haptic feedback device.

Additionally, a model for an MRE is developed in a multi-physics COMSOL program that is linked to a MATLAB function that predicts the shear modulus and incorporates it into the material properties to best simulate the MRE's ability to change shear modulus.


Elasticity; Elastomers – Design; Finite element analysis; Haptic devices; Haptic feedback; Magnetics; Magnetorheological Elastomers


Engineering Science and Materials | Materials Science and Engineering | Mechanical Engineering

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




IN COPYRIGHT. For more information about this rights statement, please visit