Magnetorheological Elastomer Actuators

Haptic actuator made of magnetorheological elastomers (MRE).
© K. Selsam for Fraunhofer ISC
Haptic actuator made of magnetorheological elastomers (MRE).

Magnetorheological Elastomer (MRE) Actuators use the inherent ability of magnetorheological elastomers to reversibly deform in a magnetic field. The magnetic field is usually generated by a coil in a magnetic circuit and controlled by the current flowing through the coil. A suitable magnetic circuit design is a decisive prerequisite for generating the desired actuation. The design of magnetic circuits is supported by magnetic field simulations using the finite element method (FEM) in two or three dimensions.

A major advantage of MRE actuators is their silent and low voltage (12 V or 24 V) operation. Because of the soft MRE material, the actuator provides inherent damping. The elasticity of the material also causes the MRE actuator to automatically return to its basic shape when the magnetic field is switched off.


  • Materials for Magnetorheological Elastomers (MRE)
  • Relationships between actuator design and actuator characteristics
  • Methods for molding MRE bodies
  • Simulation of magnetic circuits for actuator control
  • Design of MRE actuators with magnetic control
  • Characterization of MRE actuators


  • Development of customer-specific MRE actuators
  • Construction of complete MRE actuators including magnetic circuit
  • Development of manufacturing processes for MRE actuators
  • Development of test methods for MRE actuators