Browse Publications Technical Papers 2002-01-3103
2002-11-18

Ride Performance Comparison of Trailer Suspension Systems Using Computational Methods 2002-01-3103

The ride performance metrics of three different designs of trailer suspension systems are compared by means of computational methods. The three types of trailer suspension systems that are considered in this study are the following: 1) 4-spring suspension with multiple-leaf steel springs; 2) 4-spring suspension with single-leaf composite springs; and 3) parallelogram suspension with air springs. The ride performance metrics of the different suspension systems are determined numerically through ADAMS modeling and simulation of these suspension systems. The ride performance metrics that are considered in this study are the vertical acceleration of the sprung mass and the vertical forces at the spindles. Two scenarios are considered in this study: a rough road scenario and a discrete bump scenario. For the rough road scenario, the root-mean-square (RMS) value of the vertical acceleration of the sprung mass is used in quantifying ride isolation performance and the standard deviation of the vertical force on the spindle is used in quantifying road friendliness and road-holding performance. For the discrete bump scenario, the maximum value of the vertical acceleration of the sprung mass is used in quantifying shock isolation performance and the maximum value of the vertical force on the spindle is used in quantifying the effectiveness of the load-transfer between trailer axles. Results of the simulation confirm the following observations from the field: 1) single-leaf composite springs offer a better ride isolation that multi-leaf steel springs through reduced friction; and 2) air springs offer the best ride isolation but also have the worst load-transfer performance due to the absence of load transfer devices.

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