Advantages of Air Springs

January 26, 2015

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Advantages of Air Springs

The main advantages of an air spring over its steel leaf and coil counterparts are:
• Variable load-carrying capability
• Adjustable spring rate
• User-friendly height control
• Low friction action

Variable Load-carrying Capability

As already mentioned, the load an air spring can carry can be adjusted over a wide range, without changing the air spring height, simply by changing the air pressure. Traditional steel springs need to be replaced if the height must be maintained.

Adjustable Spring Rate

In addition to changing the load-carrying capability, a change in air pressure will also afford the benefit of changing the spring rate without changing the height and without a significant change in the natural frequency. Steel springs exhibit one spring rate for a given height and, once again, will need to be replaced if the height must be maintained.

User-friendly Height Control

Using air pressure from the compressor, the air spring height can be maintained by a closed loop control system or adjusted to other desired heights. This allows for “load leveling” and “squatting” capabilities that steel springs cannot offer.

Low Friction Action

Because there is a flexible rubber member separating the rigid attachment points to the frame and suspension, there is freedom to move about all six degrees of freedom without the resistance and squeaks experienced by the rigid interactions characteristic of steel leaf and coil springs.