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Different Types of Suspension Systems and How They Work
Suspensions play a crucial role in maintaining a balance of a vehicle on rough terrains. While travelling at a high speed, there are chances that a vehicle can encounter sudden shock and roll off. However, suspensions safeguard vehicles in these instances. Additionally, they ensure a comfortable ride for passengers, irrespective of the road type and even off-road.
There are different types of suspension system that are suitable for different types of vehicles.
What Are the Types of Car Suspension?
The different types of suspension system in automobiles are as follows:
1. Leaf Spring Suspension
Leaf springs act as dampers, supporting an extensive weight. These are made of steel and can flex when a vehicle’s axle exerts pressure on them. Additionally, it can easily nullify the bumps that a vehicle encounters on the road. This, along with their high load-bearing capacity, makes them ideally suited for in commercial vehicles.
2. Trailing Arm Suspension
One end of this suspension type adheres to a damper and a rear axle, and the other end connects to the chassis of a vehicle. These are not at all suitable for supporting heavy-weight vehicles and are ideal for motorcycles.
3. Non-Independent Suspension
There is a rigid axle connecting the left and right wheels. These are present in heavy vehicles such as SUVs and trucks.
4. Independent Suspension
In this type, the left and right wheels are not connected and can move independently. Although their structure is complex, they offer a more damping effect. The arrangement of springs and dampers varies significantly with different types of independent suspensions.
5. Double-Wishbone Suspension
It is so named because of its "A" – shaped wishbone-looking arms. These are only found with independent suspension. They maintain the stability of the vehicle and offer its passengers a comfortable ride because of greater control even at extreme speeds. An upgraded version of this suspension type is mainly used in sports cars and luxury cars.
6. MacPherson Strut Suspension
These are low-cost and widely used suspension types in cars. The main reason behind its wide usage is that it is simple in design, easy to control, and provides extreme comfort to its passengers. Additionally, it has a steering pivot, which is used as a front suspension. This type can be easily modified as per the need of the vehicle.
7. Air Suspension
In place of conventional coils, this type of suspension uses bellows as dampers to compress air. It can easily support vehicles of a larger height. They can bear extreme loads and ensure a comfortable ride for their passengers and are extremely suitable for luxury cars.
8. Multi-Link Suspension
The main reason behind the popularity of this suspension is its quality grip which makes it a preferred choice for vehicles travelling off-road. They have the ability to balance almost every shock they encounter during their journey. Additionally, they aid a car in taking turns immensely by increasing its friction with the ground. They are generally found in premium quality cars as maintaining them is expensive.
How Does a Car Suspension Work?
A suspension consists of springs that can store kinetic energy that is generated from friction when the vehicle is travelling at high speed on a bumpy road. This energy is transmitted to the dampers, which in turn convert this energy into heat energy. The fluid present in dampers dissipates this energy to prevent overheating. The combination of springs and dampers provides maximum protection and comfort to the passengers.
What Are the Parts of Car Suspension?
Suspensions, regardless of their types, have some common parts. These include:
- Springs: Their main function is to store kinetic energy. The amount of energy stored depends mainly on their material and length. These springs are mainly of three types, coil springs, air springs, and leaf springs.
- Dampers: Also known as shock absorbers, they convert the kinetic energy stored in the springs to heat energy. These are present between the wheels and frame of a car. The upper portion of the dampers adheres to the car and the lower portion adheres to the wheels.
- Anti-roll bar: It is a metal bar that connects both sides of a suspension and prevents the car from rolling off while taking a turn.
- Struts: It consist of adamper along with springs.
Now that you know the different types of suspension system and their utility, you must maintain them properly. Whenever you notice any indication of them wearing out, send the vehicle for servicing immediately. If you are aware of it on time, you can easily minimise the chances of accidents.