This section provides an overview for air springs as well as their applications and principles. Also, please take a look at the list of 10 air spring manufacturers and their company rankings.
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An air spring is a cushioning device that uses the repulsive force of compressed air and the elasticity of rubber.
A rubber film filled with compressed air is used as a spring and has been used in a wide variety of fields due to its versatility.
Depending on the shape of the rubber film and the metal fittings that secure it, there are two main types: the rolling-rope type, in which the rubber film rolls inward during contraction, and the bellows type, in which the rubber film collapses in the shape of a large fortune. The former includes the "diaphragm type."
Air springs are used for suspensions of passenger cars, freight cars, and railroad cars, as well as for seismic isolators for production lines of machinery products and buildings.
They are mainly used in suspension springs for luxury cars, freight cars carrying chemicals and precision machinery, pillow springs for express trains, and other products that require comfort and NVR (noise, vibration, and rattling) performance.
In vehicles with two rear axles and a dead axle on the last wheel axle, air springs are used to enable lift-axle motion to lift the last wheel axle in order to increase the surface pressure of the drive wheels when starting on low µ road surfaces such as snowy or muddy roads.
Compared to metal springs (leaf springs and coil springs), air springs have larger damping capacity, as well as features such as "little change in damping force in response to an increase or decrease in load" and "the height of the spring can be varied at a constant load."
Because it uses not only the repulsive force of compressed air but also the repulsive force of rubber film, it can absorb and dampen road noise and high-frequency vibrations that occur during machine operation, which has the great advantage of improving product quietness and processing accuracy.
However, since rubber is used for the coating, it also has disadvantages such as "may rupture under overload," "air leakage due to deterioration may occur," and "rubber may come off from the base during rapid damping."
Especially in air suspensions used in automobile suspension systems, there have been many cases of air leaks caused by moisture or sand and dust entering the bellows and diaphragm gaps.
In addition, air suspension springs tend to be more costly than metal springs because they have many ancillary parts, such as air compressors for pumping air, air piping, and check valves for preventing backflow of air.
*Including some distributors, etc.
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