Active Vibration Control of Automotive Steering Wheels 2005-01-2546
Several sources of vibration are felt by a driver of an automobile. Road and engine excitation are the primary sources of vibrations and they are transmitted to the driver by the steering wheel, the floor and the seat. Active vibration control has been a well established method of controlling vibration, but its use has been limited to research laboratories and high end applications. This paper describes an approach of implementing a cost effective active vibration control system applied to a steering column. The active control system has been designed to eliminate the engine idle vibrations being transmitted to the steering wheel. The system is comprised of piezoelectric actuators, sensors and low cost electronics to drive the actuators in an appropriate manner. The first bending mode of the steering column was addressed. The efficacy of the solution was compared to the current production solution (a viscoelastic tuned mass damper tuned for such frequency). A finite element model of the structure was developed and used to size the actuators and locate the sensors. The same model was then used to run simulations of the effects that different control algorithms have on the overall vibration levels of the steering system. A 25 dB reduction at the target mode was achieved numerically. Follow on work will include the implementation of the system into an actual vehicle.