The Use of Multi-body Systems Analysis in the Design and Analysis of Vehicle Suspension Systems 921463
Many advances have been made in the development of vehicle suspension systems. Suspension design has benefited from the availability of computer-aided-design (CAD) and engineering (CAE) tools. Of these tools, Finite Element techniques are commonly in use for engineering analysis of vehicle suspension components.
The techniques used rely heavily upon the accurate estimation of component loads within the analyses and the most common method of estimating component loads is to consider accelerations at the wheel, being reacted by the sprung vehicle mass. This method has its limitations such as difficulties in estimating accelerations and inertial affects.
The development of multi-body systems analysis routines has given new opportunities to design engineers in terms of simulation and analysis. In particular, the techniques can be applied to the simulation of vehicle kinematics and dynamics, offering the ability to model road loading and vehicle manoeuvres with ever increasing accuracy. Severe loading such as wheel pot-holes can be simulated, offering more accurately determined component dynamics and loading. These techniques are being developed giving benefits to engineers and ultimately customers through lower cost optimisation of components.
This paper describes the integration of multi-body systems analysis within the design and analysis environment, in particular, highlighting its use in the design of suspension components, considering benefits and limitations. This paper also highlights some of the developments in full vehicle dynamics for the simulation of ride and handling manoeuvres, also considering benefits and limitations.