We suggest a new design of adaptive suspension systems of vehicles with better technical characteristics in comparison with existing designs. There have been developed the following main suspension components of vehicles: 1) a lockable adaptive shock absorber with a wide range of control performance, implementing "lockout" mode by means of blocking adaptive shock absorber, and 2) an elastic element with progressive non-linear characteristic and automatic optimization of localization of work areas. Advantages of our developments are: 1) when the vehicle is in a wide range of speeds in a so-called "comfort zone", we have managed to reduce significantly the stiffness of the elastic suspension elements in compare with the regular structures - at least in two times. This means that comfort, smooth motion, high performance the vehicle when driving over bumps are improved in times. Dynamic loads are reduced in a big extent; 2) stiffness of the non-linear elastic element beyond "comfort zone" is increasing: at first - more than three times as compared with regular elastic elements; and further increasing of the stiffness of the elastic elements is more than tens times. Our developed designs of the suspensions of vehicles allow solving efficiently the problem of stabilization of the vehicle, its handling, stability of its motion, to stabilize the body of the vehicle in different driving modes. Provided experimental investigations confirmed the high performance of the developed suspension.
While designers create a suspension system of a vehicle, they always have to solve the problem of reconciling of two groups of conflicting requirements:
1. Requirements to ensure a given level of smoothness, rapidity, minimize dynamic loads acting on the cargo, nodes, passengers and drivers of the vehicle;
2. Requirements of manageability, security, stability, stabilization of the vehicle, stabilization of its body.
To reconcile the conflicting requirements mentioned above, it is possible to do the most effectively only if to provide the following three conditions:
1. The suspension system of the vehicle has to contain a elastic element with nonlinear characteristic.
2. The suspension system of the vehicle has to contain an adaptive shock absorber with ability to control its performance during movement of the vehicle depending on the traffic situation.
3. When designing the suspension system of the vehicle, it is necessary to ensure optimal coordination of the performance parameters of the elastic element with nonlinear characteristic and the adaptive shock absorber of the suspension of the vehicle, as well as to implement an optimal control algorithm for the adaptive shock absorber.
Analysis of existing approaches to solve this problem in the area of transport engineering practice has shown that there is no still yet any optimal, economically acceptable solution for practical realization of these requirements, noted above, and implementation of these three conditions. However, we are sure that the implementation of our suggestions will significantly move forward towards the solution to this complex problem.