Everyone is generally full of doubts about this new gadget: Can a leaf spring like plastic be able to carry tens of tons of weight? In the case of overload + bad road, can you persist for a year? Isn't this a lie?
Actually not plastic, composite leaf spring
In fact, people are not plastics. Its scientific name is: "Polyurethane matrix resin glass fiber reinforced leaf spring". The main components of this composite material include reinforcing fiber and resin matrix, which are then processed and synthesized by a certain process (RTM).
This material was jointly developed by Henkel and Bentler-SGL. It has two major characteristics: light weight and good performance. It is said that a composite leaf spring is 65% lighter than traditional steel leaf springs.
Non-new stuff, passenger cars are already in use
Although it is rarely seen in commercial vehicles, this material has been widely used in the automotive field. The composite leaf spring (Composite Leaf Spring) is used in the latest Volvo XC60 chassis suspension.
The green structure in the picture above is the horizontal glass fiber reinforced composite leaf spring used in Volvo XC60, which is made of glass fiber (provided by Bentler) and polyurethane (provided by Henkel).
In addition, in some lightweight heavy trucks and buses abroad, composite leaf spring structures have also been adopted.
Many advantages, it is expected to replace steel plate in the future
At present, major automobile manufacturers and supporting manufacturers have begun to study this composite leaf spring. Many pioneers can't wait to popularize it into mass-produced products. So what are the benefits of this composite leaf spring?
First, significantly reduce weight
Under normal circumstances, the total weight of the composite leaf spring (including metal joints) is about 50% of the weight of the leaf spring, which can greatly reduce the weight of the suspension and save fuel consumption.
For heavy trucks, this weight reduction effect is simpler and rougher than aluminum alloy fuel tanks and aluminum alloy wheels. If the entire vehicle is replaced with composite leaf springs, the weight of the ton can be reduced, which means that it can be installed more. More cargo, save more fuel oil.
Second, better shock absorption performance
Traditional leaf springs commonly used in heavy trucks have a small stroke and poor comfort, and traditional leaf springs will produce a certain abnormal noise due to the friction between the reeds.
For the composite material blade spring, the load distribution is uniform, and its own damping characteristics can also accelerate the attenuation of vibration, providing passengers with good riding comfort. In addition, the composite leaf spring generally uses a single leaf spring structure, so there will be no abnormal noise.
Third, durability is better
Composite leaf springs have extremely high stress intensity coefficients, that is, high toughness. Under load, the higher the toughness, the better the fatigue resistance. During driving, the leaf spring of the car must always bear the dynamic load, and the flexible material has high fatigue resistance, which can greatly extend the life of these components.
According to experimental statistical data, the fatigue life of traditional leaf springs is about 100,000 times, and the fatigue life of composite leaf springs is more than twice that of ordinary multi-leaf springs, which greatly reduces the user's use and maintenance costs, in addition to its safety The fracture characteristics can improve the reliability of the vehicle.