The 2009 Frost & Sullivan European Automotive Advanced Suspension Technologies Excellence in Research Award is presented to Fludicon GmbH (Fludicon) for its successful research and development efforts in Electrorheology and Electro-Rheological Fluid (ERF) based damping systems.
"With numerous benefits offered in terms of smart technology, cost-effectiveness and wide application compatibility, Fludicon's damper systems are expected to be widely accepted in Europe," notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Nookala Vinod. "As it ventures into automotive applications in the near future, Fludicon's ERF dampers are expected to be a worthy alternative to the already available semi-active dampers based on alternate technologies."
Fludicon's ERF-based controllable dampers offer a range of advantages over dampers controlled by electro-mechanical valves. They are simpler in design and offer manufacturing cost advantages as well as higher reliability. Dynamic response is faster, and tuning is a simple matter of software parameter adjustment. Also, compared to other technologies which work on a similar principle, Fludicon's ER dampers have superior attributes.
"Due to low fluid density, Fludicon's ER dampers have a weight advantage in terms of being over 3 kilos lighter per car, resulting in improved ride and handling of the vehicle," remarks Vinod. "This low weight also indirectly improves fuel economy."
Another key advantage of Fludicon ERF is its controllability. Low fluid density and fast electrical field activation and discharge, in combination with a more rapid fluid reaction, increase speed of response in comparison to Magneto-Rheological (MR) fluids. Fludicon asserts that the dynamic response of its ER damper is three to five times faster than that of competing dampers.
Fludicon's research on ER fluids and dampers has generated patented designs that are highly compatible with various applications across domains such as automotive, industrial, material handling and transport, rehabilitation and exercise equipment. The Fludicon ERF (RheOil®) can be used in dampers of various designs and dimensions for a broad range of applications where the ability to rapidly and electronically control the damping offers a competitive advantage.
"Fludicon's focused research has resulted in the development of the unique RheOil®, which combines the outstanding long-term properties of homogeneous ERF's together with the much better ER performance (faster response and larger yield stress) of particle-based ERF's," states Vinod.
Fludicon is set to commercialise its ER fluid and ER dampers for production vehicles in 2010 with the introduction of its eRRide® semi-active suspension system. Initially, eRRide will be available in emergency vehicles (ambulances) and will subsequently spread throughout the light commercial vehicle market, where it is anticipated to enjoy an early entry advantage. Another new area of application that Fludicon intends to penetrate is the motorcycles segment.
"The company anticipates the demand for its fluid to grow over ten times by 2012 and aims to be the local technical centre of expertise for the European region with a production capability of damper systems for industrial, physical rehabilitation and automotive applications," concludes Vinod. "Presently, Fludicon is poised to introduce its automotive products by forming strategic partnerships with tier 1 and tier 2 suppliers that cater to the automotive industry."
Frost & Sullivan's Excellence in Research Award is bestowed upon a company that has carried out new 'disruptive' research; and has, in general, a strong commitment to research and development. This award recognises a company's research and development program that has or is expected to bring significant contributions to the industry in terms of adoption, change, and competitive posture. The fruits of this research may already have or will potentially impact certain market sectors. The award also recognises the company's overall research excellence as well as its commitment toward differentiating itself based on science-backed services or solutions.
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About Fludicon GmbH
Fludicon GmbH (fludicon.com) is the world's leading manufacturer and supplier of Electro-Rheological Fluids (ERF) and ERF-based components and systems that provide real-time damping control in a variety of automotive, industrial, and medical rehabilitation applications.
Fludicon can assume design, development and manufacture responsibility for complete (turn-key) damping control and vibration isolation systems.
Contact Fludicon GmbH:
Dr. Alex Alexandridis,
T: +49 (0) 6151 27 98 6
Same company and address as Alexandridis
P: + 49 6151 2798 700
About Frost & Sullivan
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