Beam Element Leaf Spring Suspension Model Development and Assessment Using Road Load Data 2006-01-0994
Knowledge of the loads experienced by a leaf spring suspension is required for the optimal design of the suspension components and frame. The most common method of representing leaf springs is the SAE 3 link model, which does not give good results in the lateral direction. In this paper, a beam element leaf spring model is developed. This model is validated using data obtained from laboratory tests done on leaf spring assemblies. The model is then subjected to actual road load data measured on the Proving Ground. Lastly, results from the beam element model are presented and compared with results obtained from proving ground tests. Overall, the beam element model gives good results in all directions except in situations where it is subjected to high fore/aft acceleration and high reverse braking events. The causes for discrepancy are identified and the steps to be taken as well as instrumentation to be used to accurately predict the suspension attachment loads using only the spindle loads as inputs are identified.