Communications Project

Document Type:Master's Thesis
Name:Christopher A. Pare
Title:Experimental Evaluation of Semiactive Magneto- Rheological Suspensions for Passenger Vehicles
Degree:Master of Science
Department:Mechanical Engineering
Committee Chair: Mehdi Ahmadian
Committee Members:Douglas J. Nelson
William R. Saunders
Keywords:semiactive, magnetorheological, skyhook, groundhook, damper, experimental, vehicle dynamics
Date of defense:May 26, 1998
Availability:Release the entire work immediately worldwide.


This study experimentally evaluates the dynamic response of a single vehicle suspension incorporating a magneto-rheological (MR) damper. A full-scale two-degree-of-freedom (2DOF) quarter-car test apparatus has been constructed at the Advanced Vehicle Dynamics Lab at Virginia Tech to evaluate the response of a vehicle suspension under the different control schemes of skyhook, groundhook, and hybrid semiactive control. The quarter-car apparatus was constructed using materials from 80/20 Incorporated and a hydraulic actuation system from MTS. A dSPACE AutoBox was used both for controlling the MR dampers and acquiring data.

The first task was to understand the baseline dynamic response of the quarter-car system with only a passive damper. Next, the passive damper was replaced with a controllable MR damper. The control schemes of skyhook, groundhook, and hybrid semiactive control were applied to the MR damper. The physical response of the quarter-car with the different control schemes was then compared to the analytical prediction for the response, with favorable results. The response of the quarter-car with the semiactive damper was also compared to the response of the quarter-car with a passive damper, and the resulting limitations of passive damping are discussed.

Finally, the practical implications of this study are shown in a discussion of the physical implementation of the MR dampers in the Virginia Tech FutureCar, a full-size Chevrolet Lumina. Although the actual skyhook, groundhook, and hybrid semiactive control schemes were not implemented on the vehicle, the results were promising and generated several recommendations for future research.

List of Attached Files


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