Rubber spring suspension | definition, types and functions.

Rubber spring suspension has been in use from a long time in the history of transportation. The evolution in technology has simply increased the uses of this type of suspension spring.

Rubber shows intrinsic properties as it can apply into a variety of forms. Including taking its place alongside metallic material in order to form the car’s suspension system parts.

The practicality of rubber springs results from its endurance capability, damping and temperatures endurance. These are just a few of the properties that make rubber spring suspension a viable car suspension part.

In today’s article, we are going to look into a number of things that concern the rubber spring suspension;

  • Definition of rubber spring suspension?
  • Types of rubber spring suspension.
  • Benefits of rubber spring suspensions.
  • Suspension rubber spring material.

Definition of rubber spring suspension.

Rubber springs come from natural rubber. Their use in vehicles includes them going under the vehicle chassis and wheels.

They make great metallic alternatives within the different types of car suspension systems. Further, rubber springs expand and compress as the vehicle moves over bumps.

Hence keeping the vehicle’s body frame in a stable state. This is possible due to their ability to absorb vibration shock from the bumpy roads.

Further improving vehicle handling capacity. This is because of the rubber spring’s ability to reduce bumpy steering.

The rubber material in rubber spring suspension is usually of varying hardness. Additionally, they vary in sizes, shapes and heights.

Types of rubber spring suspension.

Rubber springs are formed through the process of combining heat and pressure. These two make the rubber to conform to a specific shape and size.

The rubber springs are of different types and their design is such that the center is hollow. This feature allows for better deflection. Further the design permits high load support capacity.

a] Rubber spring suspension installation with metallic parts.

Rubber spring suspension can come with metal inserts. The purpose of these inserts is to assist with installation onto the suspension system.

Alternatively, rubber springs working on compression or shear, can be the sole vehicle suspension system component. Otherwise, we use rubber suspension alongside metallic parts to improve deflection.

Rubber spring suspension deflection releases considerably low amounts of energy. In fact, that energy is is lower than the one impacted to the spring.

This process of energy loss within the rubber spring suspension is known as  hysteresis. It is an advantage because it allows for use of lower duty dampers.

b] Rubber springs on balance beam with stabilizing torque rods.

Their design involves the use of bonded layers of rubber blocks and steel reinforcement plates. The rubber springs endure shear and compressive forces in their place in between mounting plates.

Further, the rubber springs may be between the chassis spring cradle and a centrally pivoted wedge shaped load transfer. 

A pivot to the load transfer member holds a box balance beam helps to transfer load weight equally between the two axles.

The rubber spring’s position is on both sides of the chassis. Because of the effect that this has on the spring rate. Hence improving the weight handling capacity of the axle.

Further, the design allows for the axle to tackle any unevenness of the road surface. Because the rubber spring usually deflects the weight.

c] Hydraulic rubber spring suspension system.

This hydraulic rubber spring suspension system caters for the vehicle’s body frame oscillations when front suspension parts compresses. In fact, when the front suspension parts compress, the rear suspension parts usually expand simultaneously.

The rubber spring suspension helps to regulate the vibrations of the front and rear suspensions. In this hydraulic suspension set-up, it’s between the frame and the independent suspension linkage controlling the wheel.

There are two pipes that connect the system. One from the left side and the other from the right. Afterwards, air is removed and an anti-freeze liquid is used to pressurize the system.

Other parts that make up this hydraulic rubber spring suspension system include the following;

  • Metal separating member which holds two rubber damper valves.
  • Rubber diaphragm attached to the suspension linkage which holds the wheels.
  • Metal body which attaches to the frame of the vehicle.

Benefits of rubber spring suspension.

  • They are adjustable to suit their application in relation to the load.
  • Secondly, they are very effective at reducing the effect of vibration.
  • Rubber springs are good at minimizing static friction during compression and expansion.
  • Suspension spring noise is lower when you use rubber springs in comparison to other types.
  • They are long lasting with minimum maintenance.

Suspension rubber spring material.

As you can imagine, suspension rubber springs are supposed to be very strong in order to handle vehicle weight distribution. For this reason, the material that is necessary in making them undergoes a strengthening process.

The rubber molding process uses five elements in order to create the ultimate suspension spring;

  • Uncured rubber.
  • Heat.
  • Pressure.
  • Cure time.
  • Mold.

The rubber is subjected to heat and pressure in order to mold it into a specific size and shape. The types of suspension rubber spring material are inclusive of the following;

a] Natural rubber.

It come from the rubber tree hence the name ‘natural rubber’. It isn’t common in making suspension springs as a sole ingredient because of its high levels of flexibility and elasticity.

But one of its characteristic that makes it a viable rubber spring suspension material is its strength. Additionally, it has a high resistance to abrasion.

b] Neoprene.

This material that makes up this rubber suspension spring is made artificially. Meaning that it can incorporate the characteristics that the manufacturer desires.

That’s why the material is common in rubber spring suspensions. It has chemical resistance capabilities as well as it’s long lasting. Because it can resist wear and tear.

c] Silicone.

This is another rubber material that is man made. The silicone rubber suspension is made with exceptional temperature resistance. Which offers effective operation under different weather conditions.

Further, silicone rubber suspension has great tensile strength. Hence making it suitable for handling the expansion and compression from bumpy roads.

d] Polyurethane.

It is a synthetic product that is popular in the rubber spring suspension for various reasons. In fact, it is superior in characteristics when you compare it to the other materials.

Polyurethane rubber spring suspension have exceptional strength that helps them handle vehicle weight. Additionally, they are resistant to abrasion and they have a longer durability.

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