Pitch Attitude Control and Braking Performance Analysis of Heavy Vehicle with Interconnected Suspensions 2007-01-1347
This study investigates the performance potentials of hydro-pneumatic suspensions interconnected in the pitch plane of a heavy vehicle. Different configurations of interconnected suspensions comprising pneumatic, hydraulic or hybrid fluidic couplings between the front-and rear-suspension struts are proposed and analyzed. A 7-DOF pitch plane vehicle model is formulated to explore the relative vertical and pitch properties of different suspension configurations, as well as the dynamic responses of the vehicle under braking and road inputs. The mathematical formulations of strut forces due to both the unconnected and pitch-connected suspensions are derived. Relative performance potentials of different configurations are evaluated in terms of sprung mass pitch angle, suspension travel and stopping distance characteristics under different braking inputs and road conditions. The vertical ride quality is further assessed under a range of road roughness excitations and vehicle speeds. The results indicate that the pitch plane interconnected suspensions could offer considerable benefits on inhibiting pitch attitudes and improving suspension travel and braking performance of heavy vehicles, while maintaining soft vertical ride.