Development of a Universal Spring Mechanism for Automotive Suspension System Design 2004-01-1553
Today's suspension coil spring design requires not only accounting for one-dimensional force along the coil spring axis, but also exerting a complex multi-dimensional force and torque field between the spring seats [1,2,3,4,5]. This paper describes the design of a 6-DOF parallel mechanism to mimic the force and torque characteristics of a coil spring. This mechanism can physically generate the 6-DOF force and torque field of a coil spring, allowing designers to experimentally evaluate the quasi-static force effects of a coil spring while still at the design stage. Examples are presented for a physically generated force and torque field of a coil spring used in a McPherson Strut suspension, and its effect is correlated to the side force acting upon the suspension strut. As an extension, this mechanism can be widely used to investigate the relationship between spring characteristics and damper friction.