Integration of Real and Virtual Tools for Suspension Development 2011-26-0115
Suspension development is one of the key steps in a complete vehicle development program. Computer simulation and analysis tools such as Multi Body Dynamics (MBD) simulation are used to refine initial concept and suspension parameters. Later on when a physical prototype is available the suspension system can be experimentally optimized at vehicle level.
In this paper a new methodology is proposed which integrates virtual and experimental tools so that design, development and validation of the suspension system is carried out in the early phase of the vehicle development cycle with actual suspension components and without the need of a vehicle prototype.
With this new approach, the design of any critical suspension components such as dampers can be optimized at the vehicle level.
The new approach consists of combining the actual physical components on loading rig in closed loop with vehicle dynamic model running in real time. This technique is known as “Mechanical Hardware in the Loop” (mHIL).
This paper presents results of application of mHIL techniques for evaluation of SUV damper. It is observed that having the real damper in loop with simulated vehicle model improves the accuracy of the simulation results. This is because the effect of hysteresis as well as use of bush at damper ends are considered, which is not the case in use of simplified damper properties during virtual simulation.
As a result of this breakthrough technique, vehicle development teams can optimize suspension designs in the early concept stage and perform fewer and faster iterations during the detailed development stage. This allows OEMs to eliminate weak spots and potential problems in key attribute areas such as ride and handling early in the validation process, before the creation of detailed CAE models and full vehicle prototypes.