Title: Theoretical and experimental analysis to determine the influence of the ageing process of the shock-absorber on safety

Authors: Andres Garcia Gracia, Felipe Jimenez, Javier Paez, Alfonso Narvaez

Addresses: INSIA-UPM (University Institute for Automotive Research, Polytechnic University of Madrid), Ctra De Valencia, km 7, Campus Sur UPM 28031 Madrid, Spain. ' INSIA-UPM (University Institute for Automotive Research, Polytechnic University of Madrid), Ctra De Valencia, km 7, Campus Sur UPM 28031 Madrid, Spain. ' INSIA-UPM (University Institute for Automotive Research, Polytechnic University of Madrid), Ctra De Valencia, km 7, Campus Sur UPM 28031 Madrid, Spain. ' INSIA-UPM (University Institute for Automotive Research, Polytechnic University of Madrid), Ctra De Valencia, km 7, Campus Sur UPM 28031 Madrid, Spain

Abstract: The correct maintenance of the suspension system elements is important for the safety and comfort of automobiles, but there are no simple and reliable methods to evaluate their state. This paper focuses on shock-absorbers, since they suffer ageing, due to fatigue. The research team has proposed a theoretical-experimental methodology to study the influence of the ageing process of dampers on safety. This methodology solves the difficulties that arise when using pure theoretical or pure experimental approaches. In this methodology, a mathematical model is experimentally validated. Then, manoeuvres that reproduce critical conditions are simulated with several degrees of shock-absorber wear in order to study its influence. As a conclusion, it has been found that the worst condition for safety is curved movement on an irregular surface. Working on these results, the authors are establishing limits for this ageing process based on objective safety criteria.

Keywords: ageing process; mathematical modelling; multibody system modelling; vehicle safety; shock absorbers; vehicle suspension; validation tests; vehicle dynamics; fatigue; dampers; simulation; wear.

DOI: 10.1504/IJVD.2006.008451

International Journal of Vehicle Design, 2006 Vol.40 No.1/2/3, pp.15 - 35

Available online: 21 Dec 2005 *

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