The suspension system is essential to guarantee the road holding of the vehicle and driving comfort for the driver of the latter. The type of suspension differs from car to car, it can be mechanical, pneumatic, or hydraulic. In this article, we are going to focus on air suspensions and share with you everything you need to know about them.
Air Suspension Comfort
Without the rubber bellows between the axle and the body, some loads would quickly break. The air suspension not only offers driving comfort but also potential for new chassis technology. The evolution of air suspension for commercial vehicles is currently making significant leaps in the Australian market. It is therefore quite possible that the air suspension will send the shock absorber into retirement one day.
Rolling Bellows Air Springs For The Drive Axles
In the case of the steel springs, at least, this has almost been achieved. Since the mid-1990s, it has primarily been the rolling bellows air springs that have been used primarily on the drive axles of trucks, but also on other axle constellations of towing vehicles and trailers.
While a steel spring only develops its best possible suspension behavior when the loading capacity is fully utilized, the suspension comfort in air-sprung commercial vehicles remains almost the same over the entire loading range. Air suspension thus reduces wear on axles, transmissions, and tires.
In addition, it improves the stability of the steering and the transfer of braking forces when the wheel follows the course of the road with minor fluctuations in wheel load. Thus giving your car a longer life without frequent maintenance. To save yourself money and remain educated here are 5 questions that you must ask your mechanic.
During Compression, The Air Suspension Loses Volume
The airbag consists of several layers of elastomeric materials. A fabric made of polyester or polyamide is usually incorporated as a reinforcement. At the upper end of the bellows, there is an airtight sealing plate, which also creates a connection to the superstructure. The rolling piston, which is connected to the axle of the vehicle, is located at the lower end.
Today, electronic control with sensors and solenoid valves is usually responsible for ventilation. During compression, the spring initially loses a certain volume. However, this loss is largely offset.
A Control Variable For The Air Suspension Is The Pressure-Effective Area
The manufacturers of the suspension systems have considerable leeway when designing their springs, but this is ultimately limited by the rules of physics. For example, when a commercial vehicle is loaded, the spring force (load capacity) increases. If there is enough installation space, the volume of the spring can be generously dimensioned.
The larger the volume, the less pressure is needed to balance the spring force. If, on the other hand, the installation space is limited, the so-called pressure-effective area comes into play as a relevant manipulated variable. This is based on the rule that the spring force of an air spring depends on the pressure inside the bellows and the size of the area on which the pressure acts (pressure-effective area).
A Tip From The 10 Best Mechanics In Melbourne In 2021:
- If you have to replace a so-called air spring in your air spring strut or replace your shock absorber, you must then ensure that the entire system is leak-proof, because this is the only way it can work properly. It is particularly important that all components work and that no oil escapes anywhere. Lubricants could attack the rubber of the air bellows and thus significantly reduce its service life. Correct shock absorber function is also important for the long service life of the air suspension. If your shock absorber fails, the air spring is subjected to a large additional load and will fail prematurely.
- In the event of compressor damage, the failure of this component is not usually the cause. In many cases, there are leaks somewhere else, putting intense strain on the compressor and ultimately causing it to fail. Therefore, if you have a problem like this, you should check your entire air suspension, especially for leaks. Because if you do not eliminate the actual cause, you will have to replace the compressor again after a very short time.
What Are The Advantages Of Air Suspension?
There are different pros and cons associated with air suspension. Let’s ponder on the advantages. For more knowledge, here’s an article on the pros and cons of air suspension. The main advantage of this type of suspension is the comfort achieved. This is because the elastic rubber bellows are much better suited to leveling out bumps in the road.
Classic dampers cannot keep up in this area.
In addition, air suspension offers the opportunity to increase the chassis load capacity, which is particularly important for commercial vehicles. In addition, this system allows the properties of the chassis to be adapted to the current conditions. The electronic control regulates the shock absorber force adaptively and in the shortest possible time. Road condition, load, and driving style are taken into account.
Some vehicle manufacturers use air suspension in cars for other comfort features. In addition, the ride height can also be reduced when driving fast on the motorway, for example, to reduce vehicle air resistance. Theoretically, this is also reflected in consumption, although this effect on fuel efficiency is rather small. The same type of level control can be used if you like driving your car off-road.
Air springs are often only used in premium vehicles or trucks. Therefore, they are mostly used by tuning fans as a retrofit set. There are different manufacturers of air suspensions, which have universal components as well as special variants for certain models.
Now that you are fully informed about the important advantages and disadvantages, you can decide whether such a system will bring you an additional benefit. The air suspension system is one of the best on the market as it provides excellent handling to the vehicle.
If you wish to equip your car with this device, find out beforehand whether a compatible suspension kit can be installed on it.