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How do shock absorbers work?

Answers:1   |   LastAnswerAt:2011.06  

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Tony Blake 
Asked at 2011.06.12 23:38:53

answer Adah George  Answered at 2011.06.12 23:38:53
All cars have some sort of shock absorber to improve ride and handling. A broken or worn-out shock absorber can be an inconvenient and potentially dangerous fault.PurposeA car is suspended by springs, which allow the suspension to move when it encounters a bump. Without some way to slow the springs' bounce, the suspension would act like a rubber ball and bounce up and down until it loses energy.ConstructionShocks utilize an external tube (connected to the chassis) and a rod-shaft (connected to the wheel) connected to a valve. The space inside the shock is filled with oil, which must pass through the rod-shaft valve whenever the rod moves.FunctionThe holes in the valve will only allow a certain amount of oil to pass through during a given time period. The smaller the valve holes, the more the shock resists movement and the firmer it becomes.Magnetorheological ShocksMagnetorheological shocks utilize a fluid with metal dissolved in it, which get thicker when subjected to a magnetic field. The cars computer can instantly make the shock firmer or softer by varying the magnetic field's strength.Fun FactIn 2009, a group of undergraduates from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed a shock absorber that harnesses otherwise-wasted energy from suspension movement and uses it to produce electricity. On an average road, the system will produce a continuous one kilowatt (about 1.4 horsepower).
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