When it comes to cars, we often hear the word suspension. At present, the types of suspension include Macpherson suspension, Multi-link suspension, double-link suspension, etc. Today, let’s explain types of automotive suspension, as well as their characteristics:
First, what is suspension?
The suspension is the general name of all force transmission connection devices between the car frame and the axle or wheel.
What’s the function of the suspension?
- provides a cushioning effect when the car is passing through uneven surfaces.
- Ensure that the car wheels move in a fixed angle to stabilize the steering.
- Support the weight of the car wheel.
- Maintain good contact between the car wheels and the road surface, ensure that the driving wheels and braking force produced between the wheels and the road surface can be carried to the body of the car.
- Car suspension must satisfy the requirements of comfort and also take into account the needs of the stability of handling, and they are often contradictory. The softer the spring, the more comfortable the ride. The spring is too soft, and the brakes will turn around, and the steering will become unstable. Therefore, the design has to take the middle road, and both sides have to be balanced.
What are the standard suspensions types? What are their characteristics?
1、 Macpherson suspension
The MacPherson suspension is one of the most extensive car front suspension used in the world today. The Macpherson strut consists of coil spring, shock absorber, triangular swing arm, most models will also be fitted with stabilizer bars. The MacPherson suspension structure is simple, so it is lightweight and responsive.
Due to its small footprint, it is suitable for small cars and most medium vehicles
Key benefits: Simple structure, small footprint, fast response, low manufacturing costs.
Main disadvantages: Low lateral stiffness, poor stability, large cornering car body roll.angle
Available: Small to medium cars, low to mid SUV front suspension.
In particular, the Porsche 911 as a supercar also features a MacPherson-style front suspension, which is proof of its extensive adaptability.
2、 Double wishbone suspension
Double wishbone suspension is also known as double A-arm stand-alone suspension. Double wishbone suspension has two wishbones upper and lower. Lateral forces are absorbed by both wishbones simultaneously. The support only carries the weight of the body, so the lateral stiffness is high.
With an additional upper rocker arm than the MacPherson strut suspension, not only a larger space is required, but its positioning parameters are difficult to determine, so the front axle of small cars is generally not used for space and cost reasons.
Main advantages: High lateral stiffness, excellent anti-car body roll performance, good grip, precise road feel;
Significant shortcomings: High manufacturing costs, an elaborate setting of suspension positioning parameters;
Available in sports saloon, supercar, and premium SUV front and rear suspension.
3、 Multi-links Independent Suspension
Multi-link independent suspension can be divided into multi-link front suspension and multi-link rear suspension systems.
The multi-link suspension structure is complex.
Material cost, research, and development experimental cost and manufacturing cost far higher than other types of suspension types.
It has a large footprint, which is rarely used by small and medium-sized vehicles for cost and space considerations.
However, the multi-link suspension is the best in comfort in all the suspension types. The steering performance is also the same as double-wishbone suspension. The focus is on comfort and stability in steering, so the use of multi-link suspension is mostly used. We can say that multi-link suspension is the perfect match for high-end saloon cars.
4、 trailing-arm suspension
Trailing-arm suspension, which we call semi-independent suspension, can be divided into two significant types in terms of the general category of suspension.
The trailing arm suspension itself has the disadvantage of non-independent suspension, but it also has the advantage of independent suspension. The most significant advantage of the trailing arm suspension is that the left and right wheels have a lot of space, and there is no change in the camber angle of the body. The shock absorbers do not have bending stresses, so there is little friction.
Key benefits: Simple and practical construction, minimal footprint, low manufacturing costs.
Main disadvantages: Poor carrying capacity, weak car body roll resistance, low shock absorption, limited comfort
Available: Small to medium-sized vehicles, low-end SUV rear suspension
5、 Link strut suspension
The Link strut suspension is not so-called in a strict sense. Still, with the hot sale of Toyota Camry in Guangzhou (which Camry has adopted), the name of the Link strut suspension is becoming more and more familiar to the people, and we have condoned the suspension as a Link strut suspension.
The connecting rod strut, like the MacPherson suspension, is also the damper support, which is assembled in an assembly with the shock absorber and the damping spring.
It has less space than the real multi-link suspension and less cost than multi-link suspension. It has been adopted by many manufacturers.
Key benefits: Simple structure, small footprint, low manufacturing costs.
Main shortcomings: Lateral stiffness remains limited, stability is poor and can easily exacerbate understeering characteristics of the front-drive
Available models: Rear suspension of mid-range vehicles.