Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Purdue method shows promise for improving auto suspensions

10.11.2005


Mechanical engineers at Purdue University have demonstrated a new method for analyzing the components of automotive suspension systems in work aimed at improving the performance, reducing the weight and increasing the durability of suspensions.



The researchers have demonstrated that their method can be used to show precisely how a part’s performance is changed by damage and also how its changing performance affects other parts in the suspension.

Findings are detailed in a paper being presented Wednesday (Nov. 9) during the International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition in Orlando, Fla. The conference is sponsored by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.


The approach represents a potential change in how automotive suspension systems will be designed in the future, said Douglas E. Adams, an associate professor of mechanical engineering who is leading the research.

"The way it’s done now is that each of the parts making up the suspension are manufactured to be as rugged as possible," Adams said. "Usually, different suppliers provide the different components, and what they do as good suppliers is optimize the strength and durability of their component.

"The problem with this approach is that some of the parts are over-engineered and heavier than they need to be because they are designed to withstand greater forces than they will encounter once they are integrated into the system. This results in a heavy suspension system that doesn’t handle very well, and higher fuel and steel consumption than you would like.

"A better, more integrated approach that automakers are now pursuing is to test the entire suspension by analyzing parts, not as isolated units but as interconnected components. That way, we will learn more precisely how individual parts interact with each other, and we will be able to design parts that are just as light and rugged as they need to be but not too heavy or rugged."

The integrated approach is particularly important for the design of suspension systems because one damaged part can cause heavier strain on surrounding parts. If engineers know which parts are most prone to damage, those parts can be built heavier and other parts can be made lighter, reducing the overall weight and improving the performance of the suspension.

A suspension system consists of parts such as bolts, rubber bushings, coil springs, steering mechanisms and tie rods. The method developed at Purdue senses naturally occurring vibration patterns to detect damage to components. Sensors called "tri-axial accelerometers" are attached to suspension components and are used to collect data as vibration passes through the components. The data are fed to a computer, where complex software programs interpret the information to analyze each part’s performance.

Such "fault-identification" methods may not only provide information for designing better suspensions but also might be used for future "structural health monitoring" systems in cars that automatically detect damaged parts and estimate how long they will last.

When perfected, such a "systems approach" could provide a competitive edge to companies that make suspension parts. The work is funded by ArvinMeritor Inc., which makes suspension components at its plant in Columbus, Ind. The research also is supported by the Center for Advanced Manufacturing, located in Purdue’s Discovery Park, the university’s hub for interdisciplinary research.

"We want to develop instrumentation, sensing methods and technologies and also ways to process data that industry can use to conduct durability tests on so-called integrated suspensions," Adams said. "The company that designs an integrated suspension system that is lighter and lasts longer than the component-wise suspension will have a competitive advantage over other companies."

The research paper being presented this week, written by mechanical engineering doctoral student Muhammad Haroon and Adams, focuses on bolts connecting the various components in the suspension system of a luxury sedan. In research conducted at the university’s Ray W. Herrick Laboratories, the engineers showed that their system was able to detect damaged bolts, precisely determine how a bolt’s performance was affected by the damage and how its changing performance affected other parts in the suspension system.

"What we’ve shown in this particular paper is that we can detect very small changes in a part’s performance when it is damaged, and we’ve also been able to quantify the changes, which is really significant," Adams said. "We quantify the changes by turning data into information using a software algorithm that utilizes an embedded sensitivity model, which we developed.

"The reason it’s important to quantify the change is that, if we know one part is experiencing a failure mechanism of a certain type and another component is experiencing increasing strain as a result of the damaged part, we can figure out which parts need to be heaviest and which can be lighter."

The researchers hope to complete work to develop the method in less than two years, at which time it could be ready for commercial use.

Writer: Emil Venere, (765) 494-4709, venere@purdue.edu

Source: Douglas Adams, (765) 496-6033, deadams@purdue.edu

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu

Emil Venere | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.purdue.edu

More articles from Automotive Engineering:

nachricht Did you know how many parts of your car require infrared heat?
23.10.2017 | Heraeus Noblelight GmbH

nachricht Two intelligent vehicles are better than one
04.10.2017 | Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

All articles from Automotive Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>