Comfortable on the road thanks to Vibration Control Technology

Comment for free editorial use by Dr. Jörg Böcking, CTO at Vibracoustic

Summer time is vacation time. But before going to the sea or the mountains to relax with family or friends, many kilometers on the road are required, often demanding strong nerves and patience. Besides the increased volume of tourist traffic in all directions, there is an increase in obstructions and long traffic jams, due to construction sites: Road repairs, road extensions, maintenance and bridge work are unavoidable, even during the travel season.

According to German automobile club ADAC, in 2017, there were around 723,000 traffic jams in Germany with peak time in summer. This corresponds to a length of 1,448,000 kilometers, that means 35 times along the equator. On average, a metal avalanche of almost 4,000 kilometers was formed every day. These figures apply only to Germany – extrapolated to the whole of Europe or the world, the figures reach dizzying values.

"Comfort and safety are becoming increasingly important – especially when there is high stress due to long distances in the car and long congestion waiting times – so that all passengers arrive safely and rested at their destination. Vibration control technology makes a decisive contribution to this: It isolates and dampens disturbing noises and vibrations caused by the drive train or unevenness of the road. The vehicle drive train is the main source of unwanted vibrations and noise. Especially in tough traffic conditions, "stop and go" situations occur in which the engine is repeatedly started and stopped again. Especially starting the engine causes very strong vibrations. The remedies include engine and transmission mounts, prop shaft dampers and decoupled isolator pulleys.

But the chassis also has a decisive influence on driving comfort, driving safety and driving dynamics. The chassis must bring the engine power onto the road, support and dampen the vehicle, keep it in lane and brake safely – this requires precisely matched spring elements and chassis bearings.

Air springs bridge the gap between comfort and dynamics and offer numerous advantages over conventional steel springs. Firstly, the air spring keeps the vehicle at a constant level – no matter how heavy it is loaded. On the other hand, the driver can adjust his suspension individually and, for example, choose between a tight sports suspension and a comfortable set-up. New air spring concepts from Vibracoustic can now switch between up to four different degrees of stiffness by intelligent switching. This allows drivers and passengers to reach their destination comfortably and safely – regardless of whether the road is a little rougher or it simply takes a little longer.”

Vibracoustic is the leading supplier of anti-vibration solutions for the global automotive and commercial vehicle industries. The company generated sales of approximately 2.1 billion Euros in 2017. Vibracoustic has around 10,000 employees at 43 locations in 19 countries, who develop and produce powertrain and chassis components for automotive vibration control. For more information, see www.vibracoustic.com

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