Development of Variable Stiffness Suspension System Considering Handling, Comfort and Structural Fatigue 2018-28-0061
This paper describes the development of a varying stiffness suspension system to have better control over handling, comfort and structural fatigue of automobiles. Earlier approaches resulted in cumbersome designs and resulted in higher lateral forces on coil springs and structural fatigue. In this work, an initiative has been taken considering all these factors and optimizing the design at every stage of development to achieve lightweight and economical suspension system to meet the objectives. The variable stiffness is achieved through the relative travel of spring with respect to the wheel travel for different configurations. For this purpose, a stepper motor drive is employed to move the hinge point in the angular arch. The developed design is also examined through mathematical modeling and the MBD simulations. It is found that that the proposed design has the capability of facilitating better handling and comfort characteristics without much compromise on the overall cost of the suspension system.