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Hydraulically interconnected vehicle suspension: handling performance

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This paper extends recent research on vehicles with hydraulically interconnected suspension (HIS) systems. Such suspension schemes have received considerable attention in the research community over the last few years. This is due, in part, to their reported ability to provide stiffness and damping rates dependent on the suspension mode of operation (i.e. the bounce, roll, pitch or articulation of the unsprung masses relative to the sprung mass), rather than relying on the stiffness and damping characteristics of the single wheel stations. The paper uses a nine-degrees-of-freedom (DOF) vehicle model and simulations of a fishhook manoeuvre to assess the handling performance of a vehicle when it is fitted with: (a) a conventional independent suspension, and (b) an HIS. In the case of the latter, the fluid subsystem is modelled using a nonlinear finite-element approach, resulting in a set of coupled, first-order nonlinear differential equations, which describe the dynamics of the integrated mechanical-hydraulic vehicle system. The simulation results indicate that, in general, the HIS-equipped vehicle possesses superior handling, as measured by the sprung mass roll angle, roll rate, roll acceleration, lateral acceleration and the vehicle's Rollover Critical Factor. The potential effects of the suspension set-up on ride performance are also considered by studying the transient response when one side of the vehicle traverses a half-sine bump. The obtained results are then discussed, and it is shown that they are consistent with previous findings, both by the authors and other researchers. The presented work outlines an alternative approach for studying the dynamics of HIS-equipped vehicles, particularly suited to analyses in the time domain.

Keywords: hydraulic system; interconnected suspension; multi-body dynamics; vehicle dynamics

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Mechatronics and Intelligent Systems, Faculty of Engineering, University of Technology, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Publication date: 2011-01-01

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