What does driving under suspension do

It is commonly assumed that steel is hard. We literally speak of a tough guy. Now I come and say cheerfully that steel can be used for the suspension of vehicles. Then is the guy flexible and resilient? Yes, because steel is really extremely elastic and surprisingly flexible. The decisive factor is the steel that is used, because not every steel is suitable.

To make springs with steel, you have to use a very special steel. Normal structural steel, as you needed it to build the fence, is not suitable for this. The spring steel, i.e. the steel for springs, is made with a special alloy. Among other things, silicon is added to the steel. In addition, the carbon is distributed as evenly as possible. This is how you get a special steel.

This spring steel has special properties that can be used in the construction of springs. The steel is very tough. You cannot cut a comparable wire made of spring steel as easily as a normal steel wire. At the same time, the steel is very elastic and does not break as quickly. You have found the ideal steel for the construction of a spring, because the suspension only works if the steel is used correctly.

But let's leave the excellent physical properties of spring steel aside and come straight to the different designs of steel springs. The designs of steel springs are very versatile, so there are a few words to say about them. But let's start right away with one of the oldest steel springs there is, it is even older than the railroad. The spring steel is used in the simplest possible way.

The leaf spring: The properties of spring steel were discovered in a simple way. It is likely that silicon was experimented with in the manufacture of steel. However, the steel did not meet the requirements, so the rod with this steel ended up on the waste. There the steel was now on two supports and when you threw another steel rod on it, it bounced back. The spring steel had been discovered.

Whether it was so or not, we leave it where it is, because with that we have actually already got to know the function of the leaf spring. It is crucial that the steel is now used in the form of flat iron.

Packages are now formed with it. These packages are correctly called spring packages. So it was possible to build a well-functioning spring. The construction was simple and the springs could be made with little effort.

The spring package, which consists of several spring plates called spring leaves, is fixed in the middle with a steel ring. The top spring leaf also has two eyelets on the sides.

The additional spring leaves of the leaf spring only serve to support the top spring leaf. I only used the terms above and below because it is in the picture. Of course, the spring can also be set up the other way around.

Due to the different lengths of the individual leaves, the spring action against the clamp is increased. This prevents flexing movements there. If the only spring leaf attached to both ends breaks, the spring is defective and must be replaced. Therefore, the spring leaves are supported as optimally as possible, which then resulted in these ever shorter spring leaves.

The well-functioning leaf springs have been improved over the years and this is how the parabolic springs came into being. This special design was given the name parabolic spring because it corresponds to its spring behavior. The parabolic spring requires the same installation space as a leaf spring. The parabolic spring can only be distinguished from the leaf spring by the different thickness and slightly differently shaped spring leaves.

The parabolic spring has the advantage that the suspension is no longer so strongly influenced by the weight of the vehicle. The idea behind this was that the spring should always work optimally when a vehicle is loaded with different strengths. The disadvantage that the effect of the leaf spring changes with additional loading should be significantly improved. The solution was finally found in a slightly modified design of the spring. The spring steel material was retained.

The parabolic spring works like the leaf spring in a simple way. The Bumps and impacts on the axle cause the spring in the center to vibrate. This vibration is now absorbed in the material and the spring is pushed through. The spring steel tensions and so cushions the Push from. After the impact, the spring steel relaxes again and the spring returns to its original position.

Leaf springs are very often used as primary springs in the railroad. Parabolic springs are more likely to be used in freight wagons with different loads. However, nothing stands in the way of using the leaf spring as a secondary spring. Whereby the use is less common here, because the leaf springs are good springs that can be used as vehicle springs without gradation of the suspension.

Due to the structure, both the leaf spring and the parabolic spring have a damping effect. That is, the Bumps of the axis are not converted into vibrations, but compensated for by the friction between the individual blades. This prevents the leaf spring from rocking. One speaks of a long period of oscillation. Additional components are not required for the leaf spring. It is simple in structure.

Their great inertia prevents the leaf spring from being suitable for high speeds. The Bumps The axle come faster and faster at high speeds, so that the leaf spring can no longer break it down and therefore transfers it to the vehicle. However, it can be used without any problems in slower vehicles that must be inexpensive. Examples of where the leaf spring has survived to this day can be found on freight wagons.

The coil spring: The spring steel can also be made in the form of round bars. This steel is formed into cylindrical coils. These windings look like the thread of a screw. This is how the spring got its name helical spring. The advantage of this production is that you can create springs that work on tension or compression. The winding is compressed or stretched.

The construction of the helical spring is much more complex than the older leaf spring. The function of the spring is not based on the twisting of the metal, but on the force that can be absorbed in the screw thread. The bent steel wants to keep its position and thus acts as a spring on the whole spring. The inertia of the metal no longer has an effect and there is no wear and tear on the spring steel.

Coil springs are often mistakenly called coil springs. The spring function of the two springs is almost identical. The spiral spring forms a flat spiral that can be pretensioned by twisting it. Such springs are often used in watches. The error arises because the coil spring's winding is often referred to as a spiral. Anyone who equates spiral with spiral spring is making the mistake.

However, there is an improvement in the coil springs that cannot be seen optically. We also mention a disadvantage of the coil spring. The coil spring is sensitive when the spiral is twisted. It can break under such loads and thus suffer a defect. However, this problem prevented coil springs from being used in certain places. The springs had to be improved.

If you treat the spring steel like a helical spring, you get a flexicoil spring. Visually, a flexicoil spring can hardly be distinguished from a normal helical spring. However, the flexicoil spring can also be twisted or bent. The function of the spring is guaranteed and breaks in the coil springs no longer occur here. But since no difference can be seen optically, Flexicoil springs are simply referred to as helical springs.

In contrast to the leaf springs, the coil springs have a short period of oscillation. They are therefore also suitable for high speeds. In the railroad, these springs are often used as primary, but also as secondary springs. You too will have seen a coil spring or even a flexicoil spring at home. The springs require little space, are easy to manufacture and are also suitable for frequent bumps.

However, the advantage of the coil spring is also its disadvantage. Due to the short period of oscillation and the almost no damping, the springs tend to be able to swing open by themselves. That is, such a feather receives one Push, then it can stimulate itself with this vibration and thus lead to uncontrolled behavior. However, this is not only undesirable in vehicles, it is also very dangerous.

Special shock absorbers are used to protect coil springs from unwanted vibrations. Your car owns this and if someone tells you in the workshop that you have to change the shock absorbers, then that's for safety and also correspondingly expensive. But you need correctly working shock absorbers if you want to drive safely on the streets. A coil spring simply cannot be used without a shock absorber.

These shock absorbers can function purely mechanically with the help of friction, but also hydraulically. The purpose is always the same. The shock absorber should ensure that the vibrations of the coil spring cannot spread any further. Friction dampers work almost maintenance-free, but cannot be used without restrictions. In the case of rapidly repeating impacts, the hydraulic mute more suitable. But it has to be replaced over time because it wears out over the years.

Together with the shock absorbers, the coil springs provide excellent space-saving suspension. The springs are now really used everywhere and they prove themselves every day on railways, automobiles and sports equipment. In the vehicles, the coil springs replaced the leaf springs. But we still haven't got to know all springs made of spring steel.

The torsion bar suspension: Torsion bar suspension is suspension that uses spring steel in a different way. It was recognized that the spring steel can be twisted. Then he has a preload, which then has a resilient effect. With this twisting of the spring steel you can build a simple and exciting suspension. So let's look at the suspension with the help of these torsion bars.

The torsion bar spring consists of special torsion bars that gave the spring its name. These bars are made from conventional spring steel and therefore correspond to a normal piece of spring steel.

When installed in a vehicle or in another object, these rods are twisted. This twisting of the bars is correctly called torsion. The name torsion bar spring could be derived from this.

Torsion bars were a simple type of suspension in which the properties of the spring steel came into their own. The steel can be bent and twisted without breaking or tearing.

However, since the metal always wants to return to its original position, additional forces are built up when it is twisted. The material wants to reduce these forces immediately, so that it generates a force that counteracts the force. This force ultimately catches the Push from.

The springs with torsion bars are used as secondary suspension on the railroad. The rods require a very flat installation space. And the suspension can be installed in almost any direction. Especially when it was necessary to arrange the floor deeply, a suspension with the help of torsion bars was built in. However, these springs have been replaced by the well-functioning coil springs.

The disadvantage of the torsion bar spring is precisely the reason for its name. The bars that have to be twisted logically do not go along with this twisting voluntarily. Therefore, such springs can only be installed with a great deal of effort. When installed, the spring works well and does not need any mute, however, there will be severe damage if the torsion bar spring breaks. Therefore, this suspension has almost disappeared from the traffic and is no longer installed often.