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SUSPENSION SYSTEM


 

The suspension is the system of tires, tire air, springsshock absorbers, and linkages that connects a vehicle to its wheels and allows relative motion between the two. Suspension systems must support both road holding/handling and ride quality, which is at odds with each other. The tuning of suspensions involves finding the right compromise. It is important for the suspension to keep the road wheel in contact with the road surface as much as possible because all the road or ground forces acting on the vehicle do so through the contact patches of the tires.

Simply stated, it's a part of an automobile that negates most of the forces that the car gets from driving on the road making sure the cabin stays still. It can be small rocks on the road to big potholes, suspension deals with them all. This is a normal understanding we have that the job of a suspension is to only provide a cushion when a bump or a crack appears on the road.

Job Of A Suspension 

The work of a suspension is to provide comfort to the cabin, make sure the car stays in contact with the ground and that the driver has control over the tires at all points which is just achieved by having contact with the road. How does it do this? That’s gonna take a while to get because before we go into the job of a suspension we need to understand all three factors that it helps in i.e Comfort, Contact and Control. 

How Does A Suspension Provide Comfort

We will go in length on how suspension provides comfort to the driver and people inside a car by discussing how a suspension works. The working will also help explain the other two factors, Contact and control play into a suspension.

Working Of A Suspension

A suspension works on the principle of force dissipation which involves converting force into heat thus removing the impact that force would have made. It uses springs, dampers and struts to achieve this. A spring will hold the energy while a damper will convert it into heat. Below we have shown how they perform this step. 

Spring To Store The Energy

The job of a spring in a suspension system is to store the energy that is generated when the car goes through a bump. A spring or a coil stores energy by compressing its size thus making any type of force into energy. The amount of energy spring can hold depends on a multitude of factors. Including and not limited to the length, the material of the spring and the coefficient of spring. The material is included because some springs might be able to hold more energy but with a non-durable material, the spring might falter. 

There are two types of springs used for suspension a coil spring and a leaf spring. A coil spring is a common one which most you might have seen. A leaf spring is used on a solid axle so basically in trucks and has very high energy storing capacity compared to a coil spring. 

Spring is good for providing a cushion however your car will keep on bouncing around giving you absolutely no control over it which is not a good thing. When you speed up your car or when you take a corner having only springs in your car will make it keep on moving back and forth 

To help springs and keep your car in control dampers are necessary.

Dampers To Convert The Energy

The energy stored by the springs needs to go somewhere else it will be released by the springs again with some minor transfer loss and your car will keep on jumping around at every crack in the road. After the spring stores the energy, the dampers or shock absorbers start working. Inside a damper is a piston with small holes in it and some pressurised oil. When the spring transfers the energy to the damper the piston moves through the pressurised oil by using the energy of the spring. Passing through the oil generates heat, successfully converting the energy of the bump in the road into heat energy and negating any energy left which would have caused the car to jump.

One thing about the new dampers is that they react to high speeds. The faster your car the better your cushioning. That doesn’t mean you should drive headfirst into portholes at 80km/hr as that will kill your underbody.

Struts

A combination of both struts is basically a damper wrapped in a coil spring. It is a structural component of a car nowadays. Its working is no different than a coil spring and dampers so there is not much to discuss. 


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