Tenneco’s Scalable Suspension concept leverages the power of the Monroe® Intelligent Suspension portfolio of semi-active and active suspension technologies to offer car manufacturers enhanced suspension systems using a flexible actuator design to easily scale up semi-active suspension systems to advanced and fully-active applications.
“Scalable Suspension responds to the increasing need for differentiation as car manufacturers seek to offer a wide variety of different driving experiences on multiple car types within a single vehicle platform,” said Rudi Schurmans, executive director global engineering, Tenneco Ride Performance.
Scalable Suspension starts with the latest generation of Continuously Variable Semi-Active Suspension systems (CVSA2) which continuously adjust shock absorber damping levels to road conditions and vehicle dynamics like speed, turning, cornering and driver inputs. The system provides optimum driving safety and improves ride smoothness and NVH (noise, vibration and harshness), achieving the optimal balance between ride comfort and handling. The continuously controlled damping works with the “skyhook” principle for body control, using additional algorithms for better road contact, steering and braking.
The CVSA2 system is controlled by a powerful electronic control unit (ECU) designed to exploit the full potential of the electro-hydraulic valve system by processing input data sent from sensors placed at key locations on the vehicle. Further input signals are provided from the in-car network.
The CVSA2 system uses control software that processes sensor information on wheel motion, steering wheel angle, vehicle speed, brake pressure and other chassis control factors and sends signals that independently adjust the damping level of each shock absorber. CVSA2 dampers allow a large separation between maximum and minimum damping levels and adjust instantaneously to ensure the optimum in ride comfort and firm, safe vehicle control.
Scalable Suspension offers the OEM a unique product differentiation strategy. Each combination of the three Scalable Suspension solutions can be efficiently engineered on a single OEM platform as the actuator designs share the same vehicle interfaces, several common components, production processes, sensors and ECU. By using CVSA2 as the standard premium suspension technology, the OEM can add Kinetic® roll control as an option for sports cars and/or SUVs and propose ACOCAR® as the ultimate comfort and handling solution on luxury saloons or SUVs.
CVSA2/KINETIC® combines the CVSA2 technology with an interconnected hydraulic roll control system to significantly improve the comfort and handling performance of sports cars while also delivering superb on-road comfort, off-road traction and articulation performance on sports utility vehicles. In addition, the CVSA2/ KINETIC® solution is low in weight and energy consumption, helping to reduce CO2 emissions through reduced fuel consumption.
Using the Scalable Suspension concept, CVSA2/KINETIC® can easily be implemented as an option on platforms already equipped with CVSA2. The anti-roll bars are replaced by hydraulic connections between the corners and the system can be extended with a variety of hydraulic ride height systems including discrete lifting, continuous leveling or hydro-pneumatic.
The fully-active ACOCAR® suspension system provides ultimate comfort as a result of its flying carpet-like control of body and wheel motion. By independently supplying hydraulic pump flow to the corners, ACOCAR® is able to generate active force in addition to damping.
This replaces the anti-roll bars and keeps the car body flat at all times, while controlling wheel movements to improve tire to road contact. As a result, the ACOCAR® system allows independent control of roll, pitch and heave, providing superior handling and safety while optimizing comfort.
With Scalable Suspension, ACOCAR® can easily be implemented as an option on platforms already equipped with CVSA2 by replacing the anti-roll bars by electro-hydraulic power packs on each corner. As with CVSA2/KINETIC®, the system can be extended with a variety of hydraulic ride height systems including discrete lifting, continuous leveling or hydro-pneumatic.