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The Working of a Car Suspension System

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Posted by Jayden Attard on April 21, 2014 at 4:14 am

How comfortable does a passenger in a car feel if the car is traveling at an average speed, and the road has cracks and gutters? Not very much. On the other hand, imagine a car traveling on the smoothest surface possible at a high speed. Comfort will be maximum. The first scenario can happen as long the driver or passenger wishes to have it. But scenario 2 is a little different.

Horizontal and vertical accelerations
Apart from the comfort factor, if a surface is too smooth, there will be no traction for the wheels and so, even at normal speeds, the car would slip away from its path or sometimes the tires would even lose contact with the ground. Thus, some vertical force (one can call it obstruction) is needed for the car to grip onto the ground and move. Therefore, in order not to cancel out this vertical force and at the same time reduce it to a certain level so that the vehicle does not suffer too much damage, a system called suspension is used.

The suspension system
The suspension system supports the weight of the frame and helps it to maintain contact with the wheels always. The parts of suspension system are

Car chassis
The chassis is a very important aspect in a suspension system. All components of the suspension system are located in it, and ‘chassis’ basically includes a suspension system. It is prominent because it directly participates in the process of suspension. Apart from other systems, the chassis contains the frame and the suspension system.

The frame
This is the basic, framework that supports the entire weight of the vehicle and forms a platform to hold all the other crucial working components in place. Basically, it forms the skeleton of the chassis.

Coil springs
This is the most common of suspension devices. It is basically a hard metal bar wound around an axis and it expands or shrinks according to the vertical movements of the vehicle.

Leaf springs
This a set of metal bars combined together into a unit. The bars are also called ‘leaves’.

Torsion bars
The torsion bar is that which uses the twisting properties of steel as suspension. The ends of he torsion bar is connected perpendicularly to a wishbone. When the wheels receive vertical force, the wishbone presses against the torsion bar and receives torsion.

The shock absorber:
A vehicle’s suspension system cannot be successful only with springs. With just the springs, there is no limit or control about how much the vehicle will bounce when it hits a bump. This can result in a lot of undesirable things like acceleration squat, body roll and sway. The shock absorber is the most important device of a suspension system. It uses dampening mechanism to keep the springs in control and provide adequate support to the frame.

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