Types of Air Suspension
The construction of lighter vehicles and the ability to transport heavier weights brings air suspension to the fore.
A general air suspension system consists of Air Springs, Levelling Valves, Air Supply Lines, Air Tanks and a compressor.
When in service the inflated rubber air diaphragm automatically adapts to changing load pressure by means of a levelling valve or sensor. The design height of the vehicle is therefore retained regardless of the static load.
Benefits of Air Suspension:
- Easier to maintain.
- Improved stability of vehicle thus protecting passengers and loads.
- Improved ride quality, driver and passenger comfort.
- Smooth running of vehicle resulting in reduced noise for driver and passengers.
- Cab and body damage reduced and extended trailer life.
- Reduced axle, transmission and tyre wear and less wear on the roads.
- Increased protection for the vehicle body.
Truck Air Suspension:
Air Suspension can be designed for a wide variety of Truck applications and can be fitted on the front, rear and trailing axles.
Air Suspension allows the vehicle body to be raised or lowered for loading and unloading purposes
Trailer Air Suspension:
Trailers are often fitted with air suspension to facilitate the transport of fragile goods.
Often an axle assembly has two air springs fitted behind it.
For multi axle combinations, one axle often has a lifting device which when used saves tyre wear when running empty.
Bus Air Suspension:
Air Suspension is particularly effective on Buses which make good use of its advantages such as excellent ride comfort and constant entry and exit height regardless of the load.
A Kneeling facility allows the lowering of one vehicle side when the bus stops, thereby making it easier for elderly or wheelchair users to get on and off.
Truck Cab Mounts and Truck Cab Seats:
Truck drivers cabs can be fitted with Air Suspension to increase the ride comfort.
A popular design for this application is a single unit incorporating both the air spring and shock absorber.
Drivers Cab Seats:
Fitted under the cab seats to increase driver comfort and reduce driver fatigue.
Air springs are often referred to as Air Bags or bellows. However, correct terminology is important for exact identification when supplying replacement parts.
- Air Spring Assembly: Complete assembly, this has a top plate usually crimped to the diaphragm at the factory and with the piston base attached.
- Diaphragm: The rubber only, commonly known as Rolling lobe style.
- Service Assembly: The top plate crimped to the rubber diaphragm but without the piston.
- Bellows Assembly: Convoluted Style Air Springs: Commonly produced in Single, Double or Triple variations.
- Piston: The base of the air spring (usually produced in Composite plastic, Steel or Aluminium) this provides a lower mounting arrangement for the air spring and controls the characteristics of the air spring under changing pressure loads. Plastic is the preferred type due to being lighter, more impact resistant, impervious to atmospheric corrosion (water, salt, chemicals) and their non-porous surface finish virtually eliminates the build-up of harmful grit. The can also operate at significantly lower temperatures than the other options.
- Bump Stop: Solid rubber block inside the air spring assembly designed to prevent significant damage to the vehicle or suspension in the event of sudden loss of air pressure in the spring.
- Mounting kits: The nuts, bolts and washers required to successfully mount the air spring to the suspension.
All Universal Components all our Air Springs are produced by the superior steam production method.
This is a reliable method that ensures extended service life, durability and constant quality to the rubber diaphragms. At production an even flow of hot air results in a homogenous product resulting in a consistent rubber strength and high durability giving an increased number of service cycles.
Some manufacturers use the Low quality electric convection process which results in brittle rubber and therefore reduced life span of the diaphragm.