Research into the design of suspension for heavy vehicles by the CVDC
The current work in heavy vehicle suspension design is primarily undertaken under the umbrella of the 'Cambridge Vehicle Dynamics Consortium' (CVDC). This is a group of manufacturers from the heavy truck industry which has joined forces with engineers from the Transportation Research Group to develop safer, more productive and more 'road-friendly' heavy vehicles. The group includes companies from various sectors of the industry concerned with vehicle dynamics and suspension design. These include: tractor units (Volvo Trucks); tyres (Goodyear); axles (Meritor); steel suspension components (Tinsley Bridge); road transport (Denby Transport); Brakes (Haldex); Air springs (Firestone); Steering systems (ArvinMeritor). By having just one member company from each sector, the members can meet and work together in a non-competing, co-operative environment. The Consortium is still seeking further members.
The main focus of the Consortium's research is to develop improved suspensions which maximise truck safety and productivity, minimise road damage and improve driver ride comfort and vehicle body vibration. To do this, the researchers are optimising conventional suspension components and are investigating advanced concept suspensions with computer-controlled 'active' and 'semi-active' elements. The work involves a 'systems approach' using computer modelling, laboratory testing of prototype hardware and field trials of instrumented vehicles.
- Modelling suspension elements
- Suspension design
- Semi-active damping
- Active and semi-active roll control