Usefulness of a suspension system and shock absorbers of a car

Published on : 21 January 20214 min reading time

What is the difference between shock absorbers? Doubt, which is common among those who don’t have a lot of experience with cars, is widespread. So it’s worth solving the mystery.

The Importance of a Car’s Suspension Shock Absorbers

First of all, it should be noted that shock absorber suspension is important not only for the performance but also for the safety of the vehicle, as the suspension of the shock absorbers serves to ensure the vehicle’s handling. Suspension, in particular, is made up of elastic components that connect the chassis (i.e. the main structure) of the machine to the wheels: their purpose is to absorb shocks and stresses from the ground (e.g. when encountering a pothole or bump), promoting vehicle stability and thus providing maximum comfort for the driver and passengers. The importance of the role of shock absorber suspension is easy to understand what would happen if the entire mass of the car was directly connected to the wheels: in practice, all wheel movements would be transmitted to the chassis, and therefore to the people on board, with dangerous jolts to say the least. In short, it would be almost impossible to control the vehicle, not to mention the inconvenience of such a trip. Shock absorber suspension is so called because it separates the suspended masses (i.e. body, interior, engine, etc.) from the unsprung masses (i.e. tires, rims and brakes) of the vehicle.

Types of Suspension

You can distinguish between different types of suspension: torsion bar shock absorber suspension, leaf spring suspension, spring shock absorber suspension, and air suspension. The most commonly used are coil spring suspensions, which are based on torsion springs that act by compression. To prevent the springs from bending sideways (as they do when you try to press a spring with your hands), they come with a kit and accessories. The springs, in turn, can be linear, i.e. with constant flexibility, or progressive, i.e. with variable flexibility. In the latter case, the flexibility changes according to the tension obtained from coils of different sizes.

Shock absorbers

Shock absorbers, on the other hand, are components associated with suspensions: their task is to slow down and precisely attenuate the movement of the suspensions, which are elastic instruments after a solicitation tend to return to the initial state not fluidly, but with a certain violence. In the absence of shock absorbers, the suspension would provoke reactions that would render their action null and void, and the comfort of the steering would therefore always be compromised. In short, a suspension without shock absorbers is pointless. Without shock absorbers, even the most serious consequences could occur: for example, if there is a particularly obvious deformation of the road surface, such as a hole that is wider than normal, the wheels of the car could even come off the ground, the clutch could fail, the vehicle could lose traction, and the driver could have difficulty controlling the vehicle. Therefore, the shock absorber suspension absorbs oscillations and shocks by controlling the movement of the suspension. This allows the shock absorber suspension springs to be soft, because the rate of suspension travel at the time of impact is kept under control.

The different types of suspension of car shock absorbers

You can distinguish between different types of shock absorber suspension as well as hydraulic shock absorbers, friction dampers, air dampers, magnetic dampers and mass dampers. Particularly interesting are the pneumatic shock absorbers, which are based on the presence of a gas that passes through a crack during rebound and compression: in this way, the energy that presses it is absorbed. Since the gas is elastic, these shock absorbers can also be used as shock absorber suspension. One of the main manufacturers of these accessories and mechanical kits is a famous dealer. This explains the difference between suspension shock absorbers: the former, in practice, absorb shocks while driving, but without the latter, they could not work.

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