There are many concepts for E-springs, but a new invention, by Salah Elmoselhy, a postgraduate researcher, is set to shape the next generation of vehicle suspension systems.
Suspension design has traditionally been a compromise between three conflicting requirements; passenger comfort, road holding, and load carrying. Vehicle suspension springs are designed to absorb road shock by compressing or extending when vehicle wheels’ encounter bumps or dips in the road.
The weight needed to depress a spring to a specific amount is called the spring rate. A spring with a low spring rate is soft and can absorb a lot of energy, therefore increasing the passenger comfort., However, it can decrease road holding and can carry light loads only.
A heavy stiff spring with a high rate performs well under a heavy load, but can make for a bumpy ride with a light load. A spring rate can be chosen to achieve a compromise, but a better result can be gained if the spring rate of the suspension can be tailored to increase with deflection.
The New Concept
The new concept in the E-shaped spring can be designed to produce the required variation in spring rate. Some sections can be profiled to flex easily under light lights and others to provide greater stiffness as the load increases.
This means it can be done without any part of the spring being subjected to undue stress, which in turn, increases the spring longevity compared with conventional solutions. Two E-springs can be combined in a compact space to create further options for tuning the suspension.
The E-spring is well suited to fabrication using micro-composites, in which the glass fibres help damped vibrations, and absorb energy. If a damper is needed, then one can be fitted neatly between the springs.
Improvements It Can Make
With putting this new concept in place, here are some improvements it can bring;
• Weight reduction of 85% leading to reduced fuel consumption
• Space requirement reduction of 75% leaving additional space which could be used, for example, for wider tires, snow chains, or storing a spare wheel.
• Adjustable spring-rate in the same compact space allowance, allowing the suspension system to deal with variable loads and increasing passenger comfort.
• Eliminating the cost of a heavy duty hydraulic damper.
• Improved fatigue performance.
Use Of E-Springs
E-springs can displace both hydraulic dampers and steel springs in both passive and semi-active suspension systems in a reliable, simple, and cost-effective way. Their applications span from light pick-up commercial vehicles to heavy trucks from vehicle suspension systems, to tiny mechanical devices, such as valves, gears, and actuators embedded in semiconductor chips, thanks to the E-spring’s inherent scalability.
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