This suspension is characterized by the lightweight spatial structure, integrated electric motors and compacted system volume. The spatial structure constitutes by tubes with different thickness. The configuration and tube thickness are derived from topological optimization and size optimization respectively. The mass of the whole structure is only 3.76 kg; in comparison, the center beam of a twist beam axle from VW POLO is 8 kg. The two electric motors are integrated into the longitudinal arms. They function not only as the driving unit to provide the drive force but also as parts of suspension axles to support the reaction force from wheels. The integration of the driving system and suspension axle has the advantage in reducing the total mass of the system and frees more space for the design of vehicle body and deployment of battery.
How It Works:
The drive unit including the electric motor and gearbox is integrated into the suspension arm. The gear transmission consists of a set of planetary gears and a pair of bevel gears. The drive power produced from the motor is continuously supplied to the wheel through planetary gear system, bevel gears, drive shaft and wheel hub successively. The reaction forces from the road are supported by the drive shaft casing, gear casing and electric motor casing.
The whole suspension is connected to the vehicle body through the bushing elements, spiral springs and dampers on both sides. The left and right arms are connected through a spatial structure, which with the bushing connections supports the electric motors in the lateral and longitudinal directions when the car drives on the road and it also works as a anti-roll bar to reinforce the torsional stiffness of suspensions.
How it would be produced:
We have found the suppliers to provide the required electric motors. The standard parts like springs, dampers and brakes can be supplied from the automotive suppliers. The tubes constituting the spatial structure are connected by welding, which can be prototyped by us. The whole system will assembled by us and then to be tested on different test rigs and at last on target cars.
Where it would be applied:
The suspension has the potential to be applied in small electric cars (curb weight about 1000 kg) or the rear axle of hybrid cars. It can also be used in a lightweight all-terrain vehicle driven by electric motors.
ABOUT THE ENTRANT
Name: Meng Wang
Type of entry: team
Meng Wang Elmar Beeh
Software used for this entry:
CATIA V5, MATLAB/SIMULINK, Hypermesh/OptiStruct
Patent status: patented