Improved lifetime of a rubber spring in an articulated hauler through product development
Abstract: Dampening systems are important in heavy vehicles utilized in rough terrains, with purpose to reduce shocks and vibrations with negative influences on the vehicle and, more importantly, on the operator of the vehicle. During the years the heavy vehicles require sturdier construction parts, due to demands on higher load capacity, where the easy solution to scale up the construction parts is not always applicable for dampening systems with nonlinear behavior. Hence, the sturdiness in the design of these dampening systems requires improvement. In this thesis the design of the rubber spring used as rubber spring in Volvo’s articulated hauler A40G is treated. The aim of this thesis is to find alternative design solutions on the rubber spring, improving its lifetime. The usual failure of these rubber springs is crack propagation in the rubber body. In the method of this thesis, alternative design solution are generated in concepts though brain storming, which are adjusted to achieve the desired behavior of the rubber spring through calculations and tested in performance through simulations in Abaqus. From analyzing the generated data, it is concluded that among the tested design solutions, a combination of fewer plates and shaping the plates as thin bowls, results in highest potential increase in lifetime.
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