Suspension testing of 3 heavy vehicles – methodology and preliminary frequency analysis. Report
Davis, Lloyd E. & Bunker, Jonathan M. (2008) Suspension testing of 3 heavy vehicles – methodology and preliminary frequency analysis. Report. State of Queensland (Department of Main Roads) & Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland.
Three air-sprung heavy vehicles (HVs) were instrumented and tested on typical suburban and highway road sections at typical operational speeds. The vehicles used were a tri-axle semi-trailer towed with a prime mover, an interstate coach with 3 axles and a school bus with 2 axles. The air springs (air bags) of the axle/axle group of interest were configured such that they could be connected using either standard longitudinal air lines or an innovative suspension system comprising larger-than-standard longitudinal air lines. Data for dynamic forces on axles, wheels and chassis were gathered for the purposes of: analysis of the relative performance of the HVs for the two sizes of air lines; informing the QUT/Main Roads project Heavy vehicle suspensions – testing and analysis; and providing a reference source for future projects. This reports sets down the methodology and preliminary results of the testing carried out. Accordingly, Fast-Fourier plots are provided to show indicative frequency spectra for HV axles, wheel forces and air springs during typical use. The results are documented in Appendices 3 to 5. There appears to be little or no correlation between dynamic forces in the air springs and the wheel forces in the HVs tested. Axle-hop at frequencies between 10-15 Hz predominated for unsprung masses in the HV suspensions tested. Air-spring forces are present in the sub-1.0 Hz to approximately 2 Hz frequency range. With the qualification that only one set of data from each test speed is presented herein, in general, the peaks in the frequency spectra of the body-bounce forces and wheel forces were reduced for the tests with the larger longitudinal air lines. More research needs to be done on the load sharing mechanisms between axles on air-sprung HVs. In particular, how and whether improved load sharing can be effected and whether better load sharing between axles will reduce dynamic wheel and chassis forces. This last point, in particular, in relation to the varied dynamic measures used by the HV testing community to compare different suspension types.
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