Suspension is an assembly of components that connects the wheels of a vehicle to its other parts. It is responsible for comfort and safety while driving. Here are the most modern types of suspensions.
What is a car’s suspension?
The suspension of any car consists of a lot of components. They form a coherent whole, which is responsible for transferring the forces arising at the contact between the wheels and the road to the body. The suspension must meet a number of requirements to make everyday driving comfortable and safe. First and foremost, each individual part must provide adequate steering, stability and body height. A very important task of the suspension is also leveling out any vibration and shock. This makes the car trip is pleasant and peaceful.
Types of suspension
Automotive designers have always outdone themselves with their endless ideas. With the passage of time, many solutions have been developed within the various car systems. One of them was the suspension, which is why nowadays several types of suspension can be listed. Due to the design, there is a distinction between:
- dependent suspension,
- independent suspension,
- coupled suspension,
In the case of dependent suspension, the wheels of the vehicle located on a given axis, are connected to each other rigidly. This solution is most often used in off-road vehicles or trucks. Independent suspension is a design in which each wheel moves independently of the other. It consists of slightly more components than other types. This type of suspension is most often found on passenger cars
Each of the types mentioned above has both advantages and disadvantages. Depending on the requirements and how the vehicle is used, sometimes a dependent suspension will be better, and other times an independent one. The basic principle is that the design should take into account as many conditions in which we will drive.
Coupled suspension – simple and functional
By far one of the most popular types of suspension is the coupled suspension, also called semi-independent. As the name suggests, this design combines features of the other two types. The most popular are suspensions with coupled longitudinal control arms, which include a so-called torsion beam. The big advantage of this design is the relatively large wheel travel and more space under the car body. Unfortunately, there are also disadvantages – including the lack of possibility of using them on the front axle of the vehicle and the high cost of replacing the torsion beam in case of damage.
MacPherson column – comfort at the highest level
Independent column suspensions are very popular. What distinguishes them is, above all, their simple construction and reliability. The design includes such elements as column knuckles, called MacPherson columns, and control arms. A big advantage of column suspension is versatility. It can be used on both the front and rear axles of vehicles, and it performs a dual function – it simultaneously dampens vibrations and guides the wheels.
Multi-link suspension – innovative and complex
A multi-link suspension, sometimes called a multilink suspension, is characterized by the fact that it includes longitudinal control arms, transverse control arms, diagonal control arms and tie rods. This design is used on both the front and rear axles of vehicles. One of the most important advantages of a multi-link suspension is the ability to achieve independent and arbitrary stagger radii. Unfortunately, this design is quite complex, which is also associated with much higher production costs
Modern suspension, or air suspension
Air suspension is undoubtedly one of the most modern types we can come across. Compressed nitrogen, contained in damping elements, is responsible for damping all vibrations and shocks. It shows much greater efficiency than the elements that are found in traditional types of suspension, so this design is best suited for vehicles that will be very often overcome uneven surfaces. Pneumatic suspension is most often found in various types of off-road vehicles. It can be found in such models as Porsche Cayenne or Audi A6 Allroad.