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Technical Paper

Performance Characterization and Modeling of Shim Stack Assemblies in Vehicle Shock Absorbers

A detailed study of the effects of shim stack assemblies on performance of hydraulic mono-tube vehicle shock absorbers is presented. Currently, shim stacks are modeled as blow-off valves in hydraulic models of shock absorbers. Using this simplification, important material and geometrical properties of shim stacks cannot be studied and their effects cannot be understood on overall damper performance. In this paper, shim stack deflection is investigated and a mathematical model is presented for shim stack deflection. This model is then incorporated into the mathematical model of a hydraulic damper and various properties of shim stack and their effects on damper characteristics are studied. Energy and variational methods were used to develop the mathematical model of the shim stack. The mathematical model also takes into account the sliding effects of the shims on each other when the shim stack is deflected.