Modelling and simulation of a semi-active suspension system

B Gao, J Darling, D Tilley

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

55 Citations (SciVal)


The inherent conflict between ride and handling in a conventional passive suspension system is extremely difficult to solve. Therefore, a considerable amount of work has been carried out over the last thirty years in this area. Through the marriage of mechanical, electrical and hydraulic components, a wide range of controllable suspension systems have been developed varying in cost, sophistication and effectiveness. Among these systems semi-active suspensions are receiving considerable attention because of their low cost and competitive performance compared with their active alternatives. Based on an existing passive hydro-pneumatic suspension unit, a semi-active suspension was designed and investigated through computer simulation. A nonlinear suspension model was built and investigated through quarter car analysis. Two modified skyhook controllers, a two-stage damping controller and a continuously adjustable damping controller were designed and a comparison study was carried out. This study demonstrated that semi-active suspensions could effectively improve vehicle ride and handling with competitive cost. Better performance can be achieved with a continuously adjustable damper compared with its two-stage alternative. Practical issues such as signal processing and valve dynamics were considered in this study. Though increased valve dynamics could improve system performance the trade-off between cost and performance would require a compromise to be made in a practical application.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Event18th Int. Conf. on Systems Engineering, ICSE '2006' - Coventry University, UK United Kingdom
Duration: 1 Jan 2006 → …


Conference18th Int. Conf. on Systems Engineering, ICSE '2006'
Country/TerritoryUK United Kingdom
CityCoventry University
Period1/01/06 → …


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