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Composite Suspension Leaf Springs: The Smart Solution
ISSN: 0148-7191, e-ISSN: 2688-3627
Published April 14, 2020 by SAE International in United States
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The paper addresses three primary areas relative to Composite Springs:
- A basic primer on Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) materials and their application
- The core topic discussed is low profile, space efficient Chassis Systems driving the need for Transverse Composite Leaf Springs
- Longitudinal leaf springs as commonly applied to light trucks and trailers - advantages are highlighted
Vehicle requirements will be rolled down to Subsystems and Components. At the component level the use of innovative, lightweight composite materials provides a significant advantage. Besides ensuring technical feasibility, implementation on high volume production vehicles is essential for competing with aluminum and steel materials. Within suspension, Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) suspension links as well as lateral and longitudinal leaf springs made from Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer (GFRP) materials are capable solutions. The low mass offered by composite materials when applied to the unsprung portion of the suspension contributes to improved Vehicle handling and ride dynamics.
Based on the experience of the successful implementation of the GFRP transverse leaf springs for the Volvo Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform, the paper will discuss recent developments in composite leaf springs:
- Design for a progressive longitudinal leaf spring made more efficient by eliminating multiple steel leaves in favor of a more efficient single-leaf structure in GFRP
- Holistic approach to the GFRP leaf spring development process focusing on material characterization, simulation, manufacturing and component testing
- Adjustable Height Suspension with a proposed low mass and low cost mechanization
The paper focuses on a detailed look at evolving Vehicle architectures including new and innovative solutions. The paper discusses only proposed Engineering solutions; it does not comprehend or imply supplier relationships and/or legal assessments.
CitationPinch, W. and Kuhn, P., "Composite Suspension Leaf Springs: The Smart Solution," SAE Technical Paper 2020-01-0991, 2020, https://doi.org/10.4271/2020-01-0991.
- Loy, C., Kuehnel, M., Ebel, C. et al., SGL Technologies GmbH , “Innovative Use of Composites in Suspension Systems,” in 10th International Munich Chassis Symposium, 2019.