Types of Suspensions Systems
A suspension system, basically, connects a vehicle to its wheels. It comprises of springs, dampers and mechanical linkages. The system reinforces the braking system and general handling of the road. It also maintains wheel alignment and correct height of the vehicle.
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The car model among other factors determines the type of suspension used. There are three main types of suspension systems.
The independent suspension system is mostly applied on the front wheels. It designed in a way that the left wheel and right-hand wheel can move up and down independently especially when driving on an uneven surface. The two wheel units do not have a mechanical linkage, unlike dependent suspension system which has a connecting axle. The wheels react differently to different road conditions. The attractive feature of this suspension system is that it offers quality driving and comfortably.
Another benefit of independent system it enhances steering and requires less space. In addition, it requires little unsprung weight and hence offers stupendous driving experience and handling. Some examples of independent suspensions include Macpherson Start and Double Wishbones. Most manufacturers prefer using independent suspensions.
Dependent suspensions have a sturdy axle connecting the two wheels. A force or motion subjected on one wheel is subjected to the opposite wheel. Since they have a bigger capacity to absorb shocks they mostly used in heavy automobiles. The axle spans across the frame width. The wheels on the right and left side can, therefore, operate in uniform. An example of a dependent suspension system is Solid Axle suspension.
Semi Dependent Systems
Semi-independent systems blend the features of both independent and dependent suspensions systems. Practically, the wheels move relative to one another just like an independent suspension but the attitude and position of one wheel affect the other. Vehicle manufacturer twist suspension parts to attain this effect.
Twist Beam is an example of a semi independent system. It is usually used in rear wheels. Twist beam suspension boast of great features including lightweight, durability, simple design and low cost.
Front and Rear Suspension
The suspension system can further be categorized into front and rear suspension systems. Independent front suspension system consists of a string axle links front wheels. Independent front suspensions allow the front wheel to move independently. They are employed in trucks though not common in mainstream cars. Macpherson is the most widely used independent front suspensions.
On the other hand, we have dependent rear suspensions. A solid axle is used independent rear suspensions to connect the rear wheels of a car. In independent rear suspensions, the vehicles rear wheels are mounted and sprung individually.
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