Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Karen Lozano

Second Advisor

Dr. Arturo A. Fuentes

Third Advisor

Dr. Horacio Vasquez


An ER fluid is a ‘smart’ visco-elastic material, with flow properties influenced by external electric fields, whereby its viscosity increases within the field and returns to its inherent viscosity without the field present. This unique behavior opens many possibilities for new technologies. The optimization of ER fluid performance depends on the chemical and structural compositions of the particles in suspension and the suspension itself. Recent inclusion of nano-particles within ER fluids has shown a relationship to favorable ER trends. Therefore, this research involved nano-laden ER fluid samples of fullerenes (C60) and/or polymer coated carbon nano-fibers as the dispersed phases. These nano-particles were dispersed within either silicone oil, polyethylene oxide/water or three different liquid crystal types.


Copyright 2010 Steven French. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American