Features and advantages of electromagnetic suspension

Electromagnetic suspension

One of the modern types of car suspensions is the so-called electromagnetic suspension. But so far, such suspensions are not very common.

Ever since Maxwell and Faraday, the founders of the theory of electromagnetic field application in practical purposes, designers and engineers are constantly trying to expand the limits of such phenomena as superconductivity and magnetic induction. After all, it opens up the broadest possibilities for mankind.

But it was only in the 1980s of the 20th century that the phenomenon of electromagnetism began to be applied for practical purposes. In 1982 the first train was built, which traveled on a magnetic cushion and reached a speed of 501 km/hour. This was the beginning of new developments, including the automobile industry.

1. What is the uniqueness of electromagnetic suspension. Automotive suspension is a set of components and mechanisms that act as a link between the road and the body. The automotive suspension is part of the chassis.

An electromagnetic suspension, like any other suspension, performs the following functions: 1. Connecting the wheels or axles of a car to its body or frame. 2. Transmitting to the supporting system (body, frame) the moments and forces that arise from the interaction of the wheels with the road. 3. Providing the desired character of the movements of the wheels relative to the automobile body or frame. 4. Ensuring the smooth running of the vehicle.

Automotive suspensions consist of the following basic components: 1. Elastic components which are capable of receiving and transmitting forces in the vertical plane. 2. The guiding components, which form the peculiarities of movement of the automobile wheels, their connections with each other, as well as perceive and transmit lateral and longitudinal forces. 3. Shock absorbers, which are designed to dampen the vibrations of the carrier system during road travel.

In conventional suspensions, a single element can perform several functions at once. But most modern suspensions are extremely complex designs, consisting of many elements, each with its own purpose. This approach helps to ensure very good parameters of controllability, comfort, stability of the car, its safety in the electromagnetic suspensions such components are also present, but they are improved and modified. What are the features of the design of such suspensions? Electromagnetic car suspension is a design, the basis of which is an electric motor. This motor has two modes of operation: as a damping element and as an elastic element. The mode of operation is determined by the microcontroller. Thus, this electric motor replaces a standard automobile shock absorber.

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The uniqueness of the electromagnetic suspension system is that it works without failures and has a very high level of safety. In the event of a power failure in the suspension system, it is able to switch to mechanical operation through a system of electromagnets. That is, it becomes an ordinary mechanical suspension. At the same time, electromagnetic suspension systems are very economical in terms of power consumption. It is possible to save money because the reverse stroke of the electromagnet causes the generation of electricity.

2. How an electromagnetic suspension works. Many people may already be wondering how an electromagnetic suspension works. The principle of electromagnetism, i.e. the relationship between the electric and magnetic fields, is the basis of electromagnetic suspension.

Conventional mechanical suspensions work by means of springs or elastic elements. Hydraulic hangers use fluid as a working element. As for electromagnetic suspensions, they use electromagnets, from which the name of the suspension is derived. The entire system is controlled by an on-board computer (electronic unit), which takes real-time readings from the wheels and the entire perimeter of the car body and sends the appropriate commands to the suspension. Controlling electromagnets is much easier than controlling fluids, springs and other mechanical elements.

3. Types of electromagnetic suspensions. There are different types of electromagnetic suspensions depending on the manufacturer: 1. SKF. 2. Delphi. 3. Bose.

Electromagnetic suspensions SKF were developed in Sweden. They are based on the principle of simplicity and reliability. By design, SKF suspension is a capsule, consisting of two electromagnets. When the vehicle is in motion, the built-in car on-board computer analyzes sensors on the wheels and gives signals that change the fluidity of the damping component of the suspension and create optimal conditions of work. The design also includes elastic elements – springs, which provide mobility even if the on-board computer stops giving signals.

Advantages of SKF electromagnetic hangers: 1. When using this type of suspension, there is no effect on the car, the so-called “subsidence” even when the vehicle is parked for a long time. This is achieved by the fact that even in the inactive state, the battery continues to power the elements of the suspension.

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2. Even in the absence of commands from the on-board computer (for example, there was a malfunction), the suspension retains mobility thanks to the built-in springs.

The Delphi electromagnetic suspension is in appearance a single-tube shock absorber. This shock absorber is filled with a special substance with magnetic parts ranging in size from 5 to 10 microns and an electromagnet. The substance fills one-third of the entire volume of the shock absorber. By the way, the shock absorber has a special coating that prevents the magnetic substance from draining out. The head of the piston acts as an electromagnet. And this piston is controlled by the onboard computer.

The principle of work of such suspension consists in the following. When the magnetic field affects the shock absorber, the magnetic particles of the substance form an ordered structure, which helps to increase the degree of fluid viscosity and to switch the shock absorber to another mode of operation.

Advantages of Delphi electromagnetic pendants: 1. These pendants respond ten times faster to a request from the computer than systems with solenoid valves (one millisecond response time).

2. Low power consumption (only 20 watts).

3. Suspensions are very versatile. If the electromagnet fails and there is no control signal, the suspension automatically switches to a conventional shock absorber that uses hydraulics.

In 1980, Amar Bose, the professor of one of the American universities, who is also the co-owner of Bose corporation, made calculations and defined the optimal parameters for automobile suspension. After a long research it was possible to develop a new type of suspensions – Bose electromagnetic suspensions. This invention is considered as a real breakthrough in the automobile industry.

The Bose electromagnetic suspension is considered to be the best solution, as far as all electromagnetic suspensions are concerned. As the trial tests showed such suspensions almost perfectly eliminate all arising vibrations. The Bose suspension is a linear electric motor, which is capable of working in two modes:

1. As an elastic element.

2. As a damping element.

Such idea is not new. But it is Bose that managed to realize it in the best way and achieve the similar performance and similar characteristics. The design of Bose suspension includes a rod, on which permanent magnets are fixed. These magnets are capable of reciprocating throughout the entire length of the stator winding. Such a solution not only dampens all vibrations during movements on rough roads, but also opens new horizons for driving the car. For example, it is possible to program the onboard computer so that at the moment of fulfillment of any bend the corresponding wheel was involved.

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Bose electromagnetic suspension can also act as an electric generator. When the vehicle moves on a certain part of the road, all vibrations due to the unevenness of the road are converted into electrical energy. This energy is collected in batteries and can be used in the future. As for the disadvantages, the Bose suspension is an extremely complex mechanism. And it requires special software, which is still being developed. Because of this circumstance, Bose suspension has not been realized in serial production yet.

What is the uniqueness of electromagnetic suspension in a car?

The rapid modern development of the automobile industry does not cease to amaze drivers with unusual effective innovations, of which only a few years ago one could not even dream. To the number of such unusual, and sometimes even unique know-how clearly belong and electromagnetic suspension cars. Yes, the first variants are installed, as a rule, mainly on the cars of extra-class, not yet reaching the wide conveyor production, as well as comprehensively tested on prototype cars, in the laboratory and test format. However, as the saying goes, the ice has broken and it is safe to say that we are on the threshold of a new, hitherto unknown stage in automotive business.

The electromagnetic suspension of the car

It is about such magnetic suspensions and is discussed in this material. Consider their characteristics, operating principles, “pros” and “cons”, as well as fresh trends in their production and installation.

The uniqueness of electromagnetic suspension

In terms of the boldness and originality of their design solution, magnetic suspensions are undoubtedly astonishing. Electromagnetic suspension is an ingenious device, which has the appearance of a rack for each wheel, which is functionally designed to replace the traditional, familiar to us springs, shock absorbers and other auxiliary parts. Such unusual suspensions are controlled by an electronic unit.

As tests show, such novelties, as a rule, fully perform their main task – to ensure the smoothest possible ride of the car. This is achieved by means of electromagnetic devices – different electromagnetic valves or a special magnetic-rheological fluid. That is, if a hydraulic suspension uses a special fluid, a pneumatic suspension uses air, and a mechanical suspension uses various elastic springs and other elements, here this role is assigned to an electromagnet. And the driver has a possibility to control their work all the time. Although, speaking the truth, some innovations are still equipped with usual shock absorbers and springs just in case – for those unforeseen situations when the new automatic technology suddenly fails for some reasons.

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How it works

We can visually illustrate how the electromagnetic suspension of a car works with the example of one of its most successful models – Bose suspension. Its main function is assigned to the rod, equipped with magnetic “core”. It is located in the magnetic field, created with the help of a linear electric motor. The change of its characteristics allows a quick change of suspension and car body elasticity parameters. All this is achieved with enormous responsiveness to external circumstances. The driver constantly reads all the necessary information from various sensors mounted in different places of the car.

The minimum number of mechanical components ensures that the entire structure has a high service life. In this case, the smoothness of motion of the car is much higher than in the traditional version.

The motion of the car on the road

Magnetic suspension types

The modern automotive industry has given the world three main brands, the products of which are electromagnetic car suspension of high class. These are such brand names:

Each of them, based on the fundamental principle of operation, has its own differences and twists, a number of advantages and disadvantages. What unites them is that each of them provides not only an excellent smoothness of the car, but also its excellent stability when driving at high speed.

In terms of comfort and safety of the driver and passengers such magnetic suspensions are unparalleled. They also allow rational use of the car’s energy potential.

SKF magnetic suspension

This variant is designed in a capsule format, which consists of two electromagnets. The onboard computer very quickly collects information from all sensors and corrects the stiffness of damping elements, determining the optimal mode of the car. Another unambiguous “plus” of this model is that it has the ability to go from the automatic to the mechanical format.

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Delphi suspension

This variant is distinguished by a special design of the suspension – it is a single-tube shock absorber, inside which there is a magnetic-rheological fluid. The magnetic particles in it are microscopic, no more than 10 microns. In addition, a certain proportion of a special coating is added to the solution so that the particles do not stick to each other. The shock absorber piston, which is controlled by an electronic unit, contains an electromagnet. When the control signal is applied, a magnetic field is created and the particles are arranged in an ordered structure.

The suspension is characterized by its responsiveness and the possibility to use, in the event of a breakdown, a hydraulic shock absorber.

Hydraulic shock absorber for the suspension

Bose electromagnetic suspension

Few people know that it was created by the famous inventor Aram Bose, who produces cool musical devices. Nowadays such models are probably the most popular, showing the extraordinary speed of operations, which is provided by the magnetic rod.

The model exhibits a linear electric motor. Depending on the riding mode, such a motor functions as an elastic or damping element. In addition, this model gives the opportunity to widely vary all kinds of settings. Another highlight is considered an “electric generator mode”. Thus, the machine vibrations are converted into electricity, which is concentrated in the batteries.

Bose electromagnetic suspension

Advantages and disadvantages of magnetic suspension

The advantages of such suspensions have already been discussed above. The car thanks to the electromagnetic suspension gets an exceptional smooth ride and increased comfort. Among the disadvantages, independent experts refer to the lack of full guarantee of the new work, resulting in them sometimes have to keep the old, mechanical or other formats of the organization of the smoothness of movement. There are also bottlenecks in each of the three brands separately. For example, the further development of Bose suspension is hindered by the absence of good software.

The obstacles for wide distribution

The tests of the new suspensions showed that they have future because they give the chassis like a second breath. The main obstacle to their large-scale distribution, including the domestic automotive space, is their considerable price. However, according to experts, already in the coming years everything will change.

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