Air Spring

What is an air spring?

While driving on the roads, some landscapes are just so hard to harness your car. Driving in the rain and there’s always a small gadget in the car that helps the stability of cars and it even plays an important role in sending you back home safely. It’s the air spring we are talking about.

Speaking about driving safety, instead of an air spring, the image of air bags would firstly pop up in people’s minds. The air bags are essential live-saving boats when encountering the mass impact in the front where the passengers and drivers are seated. The air bags are normally hidden inside the spaces that can be noticed with signs. While directly hitting a hard object, the air bags would blow out and automatically pump up as buffer balloons to reduce the damage taken by passengers.

The air bags only appear when it’s crucially needed. Unlike the air bags, the air spring and the air suspension are weakly recognized by people who don’t drive cars. Most of them know about the importance of air bags, but they haven’t learned that air springs can also help you in a way air bags securing people’s lives.

Unlike the air bags that only happened for decades, over the development of air springs in the history of the human race, there has been a century since the first air suspension system was invented and carried out on a vehicle. By receiving the compressed air that is supposed to be there for vehicle braking systems, the air springs within the air suspension systems are able to improve the comfortability of traveling in a vehicle. 

Like the actuators, the benefit that air springs can bring had soon to be noticed in the industrial machinery business. They soon found out that air spring could bring out much more unique solutions and can be applied to a variety of available situations. Air springs are largely considered as, for instance, vibration isolators, tensioners, and mostly shock absorbers. Most of the time, air springs are mainly applied to handling applications as a dynamic shock-absorbing mechanism. Duties of air spring are like being applied to a sawmill where logs are to be dropped and are waiting to be cut. 


Types of air springs

1. A rolling lobe

There are two main types of air springs to be seen in the market. One is normally called a rolling lobe or reversible sleeves. This kind of air spring can be constructed with unique rubber bladders. These bladders are usually bent over in different ways, usually to be rolling outward and folding inward. This exercise would relate to the direction and the distance it shall move. This rolling lobe air spring has specifically the capacity of limitation pulling force because it has the tendency of fitting into high stroke length and possibility to bulge. 


2. A convoluted bellow

The other type of air springs is called a convoluted bellow. It consists of three shorter bellows and multiple units that are fortified with girdle hoops. The convoluted air springs are twice the life circle rate than a rolling lobe air spring. It can take ten times the force that is sending to the rolling lobe system. However, it is less useful in the level of a stroke to apply to. 


3. Air suspension system

The origin and birth of the air suspension system are originated in the United States of America. It was served with the heavy-duty aircraft during the time in World War II. The idea of inventing air suspension was to create an intense mechanism that can achieve the goal of saving lifted cargo weight. Not only the heavy aircraft but also the heavy duty truck was also introduced with air suspension systems to become self-leveled. Eventually, people start to become a reliable mechanism greatly used by the truck and vehicle drivers to carry huge loads. It also provides benefits and drawbacks.

As a different and unique style of air lift, the air suspension system accepts power from the electric pump or a compressor. It is said that being a replacement for the coil spring suspension and the leaf suspension system. The coil spring system works with inflating bags to create a specific pressure that is similar to a spring movement. And unlike the hydropneumatic suspension which is fed with pressurized liquid, the air suspension uses the pressurized air to move. 


Pros and cons of air suspension systems

During the decades, it is commonly aware that more and more people would take the air suspension system into consideration. The total value of the air suspension systems in the markets has been gradually increasing every year, which means there are needs of improving the vehicle driving experience. Here are the benefits of installing the air suspension systems.

Pros

a. Air suspension systems are able to evaluate the comfortability on the road by reducing the noise, harshness, and the bumping situation that could happen during driving.
b. Reducing the harshness and vibration in driving for heavy duty, there are little wears and tears happening in the suspension.
c. Air suspension systems help the trucks to maintain certain stability over the bumping road and extreme terrain when driving with empty load.
d. When encountering sharper angles of curves, cars applied with suspension are more steady on the main course instead of drifting.

Concluding the points that are mentioned above, it seems that air suspensions bring the stability of traveling with heavy trucks and vehicles with trailers. It can be customized to fulfill a certain driving experience, such as the soft feeling applied to drive on the highway. In certain cases of carrying a heavy load, air suspension systems elevate the stability and mobility of traveling by evening the levels of each wheel in dynamic movement, keeping all the wheels in the ground. 


Cons

However, even with excellent driving experience to back on, some disadvantages are to be reported and generalized in the following passages.

a. The cost and maintenance fee of air suspension systems is way more than other traditional suspension. Such precise mechanisms need to be examined in a short period of time.
b. If there’s odd that the vulnerable system’s flaw leads to the malfunction by making air leaks, there might be dangers. Mechanical issues would sometimes keep the consumers away from purchasing the air suspension system. There are common mechanical issues to be overcome. For example, the infrequency usage of the system might result in the air fitting failure. The degeneration caused by rusting and moisture invasion inside the system could possibly result in air struts.
c. Owing to air leaks inside the air springs, the compressor would constantly burn out and suffer the outcome of continuously maintaining a normal level of pressure.

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