Experimental Testing and Mathematical Modeling of the Interconnected Hydragas Suspension System
The Moulton Hydragas suspension system improves small car ride quality by interconnecting the front and rear wheel on each side of the vehicle via a hydraulic fluid pipe between the front and rear dampers. A Hydragas system from a Rover Group MGF sports car was statically and dynamically tested to generate stiffness and damping coefficient matrices. The goal was to develop the simplest possible model of the system for use in ride quality studies. A linear model showed reasonable accuracy over restricted frequency ranges. A second model used bilinear spring and damping constants, and was more accurate for predicting force at both the front and rear units for frequencies from 1 to 8 Hz. The Hydragas system static stiffness parameters, when used in the model, caused peak force underprediction in the jounce direction. The bilinear model required increased jounce stiffness to account for hysteresis in the rubber elements of the system, and dynamic fluid flow phenomena.