The effects of different input excitation on the dynamic characterization of an automotive shock absorber

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics; Keweenaw Research Center


This paper deals with the dynamic characterization of an automotive shock absorber, a continuation of an earlier work [1]. The objective of this on-going research is to develop a testing and analysis methodology for obtaining dynamic properties of automotive shock absorbers for use in CAE-NVH low-to-mid frequency chassis models. First, the effects of temperature and nominal length on the stiffness and damping of the shock absorber are studied and their importance in the development of a standard test method discussed. The effects of different types of input excitation on the dynamic properties of the shock absorber are then examined. Stepped sine sweep excitation is currently used in industry to obtain shock absorber parameters along with their frequency and amplitude dependence. Sine-on-sine testing, which involves excitation using two different sine waves has been done in this study to understand the effects of the presence of multiple sine waves on the estimated dynamic properties. In an effort to obtain all frequency dependent parameters simultaneously, different types of broadband random excitations have been studied. Results are compared with stepped sine sweep tests. Additionally, actual road data measured on different road profiles has been used as input excitation to obtain the shock absorber parameters for broad frequency bands under realistic amplitude and frequency conditions. These results are compared with both simulated random excitation and stepped sine sweep test results.

Publication Title

SAE Technical Papers