Suspension System Dampers
The suspension system in cars is responsible for providing control and comfortable ride. A damper in a suspension system prevents wheels and the vehicle from bouncing and up and down. After hitting a bump, a vehicle would continue bouncing up and down if the energy on springs is not dissipated. This is where the dampers come in handy.
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Dampers, also known as shock absorbers, contain a piston which is in constant movement as the wheel moves up and down. The piston is housed inside a cylinder that is filled with oil. The piston contains valves and narrow passages which transmit oil slowly from one chamber to another. This process helps to push down spring oscillations hence returning the vehicle to level.
Struts and shocks are used to control oscillation of a spring. They are essentially used as dampers. Damping here describe function of strut and shock using hydraulic fluid to damp the natural tendency of springs to oscillate. If the spring is not damped after compression, it will vibrate for an extended time. Dampers reduce the oscillation of springs to only one cycle.
Types of dampers
These dampers look like telescopes. They have attached the body on one side and axle on the other.
Level arm dampers
These dampers are fixed to the body or frame of the vehicle. A pivoted lever connects between lever arm dampers and the axles. A hydraulic suspension system combines the dampers systems and switch rubber springs to link the front wheel to the rear wheel.
When the front wheel of a car passes over a bump, suspension unit fluid flows to the rear wheel. It raises the rear wheel unit and hence keeps the vehicle level. The fluid goes through a valve in a suspension unit (displacer unit) thereby providing a damping effect. The fluid returns to the displacer in the front wheel once the rear wheel has passed the bump. This process restores the original level of the vehicle.
Monotube dampers use one cylinder which is divided into a gas and oil chamber by a floating divider.
Twin Tube Damper
This design uses two tubes. The inner concentric tube contains oil, shaft and piston. The outer tube is partially filled with gas. The compressible gas pushes oil from the outer tube into the inner damper tube. It also fills the shaft volume during compression.
Multiple bypass dampers
It employs multiple circuits to produce damping force.
They don’t have any valves. They change oil viscosity to control wheel motions.
Spool Valve Damper
These dampers allow oil to flow through cylinder ports when suspension springs are compressed. It consists of a disc that acts as a lid for damper cylinder.
Electronically controlled dampers use both electronic valves and shim stack valves to control the damping force.
Read more about your car’s suspension systems: