What Is The Function Of Shock Absorbers?
The primary function of the shock absorbers is two things: controlling the movement of the suspension and springs, and keeping the tyres in contact with the ground. Whenever the vehicle is at rest or in motion, the only part that is in constant contact with the road is the tyre. If this contact is broken, it will affect a person’s ability to steer or apply the brakes.
Aside from popular belief, shock absorbers do not support the weight of the vehicle.
To better understand this, let’s dive a bit into the science of it all. Shock absorbers work by converting the kinetic energy (which is the movement) of the suspension to thermal energy (heat). The heat produced is then dissipated into the atmosphere through heat exchange.
Although, everything is not nearly as complicated as it may sound.
A shock absorber is merely an oil pump. A piston rod is attached to one end (the piston end), and it works against the hydraulic fluid in the pressure tube. As the suspension travels up and down, the hydraulic fluid is forced through a tiny hole (orifices) in the piston. Since the orifice allows only small amounts of fluid through the piston, it is slowed; in turn, slows down the spring movement. The shock absorber automatically adjusts to road conditions because the faster it moves, the more resistance it offers. If you are looking for performance parts and you are based in the UK then see ‘performance parts UK‘.
The Types Of Shock Absorbers
Although there are different types of shock absorbers, they all perform the same work. Different types of vehicles demand different types of suspensions. Moreover, they appear different from each other. It does not matter the application, all shock absorbers fit into one of the three broadly types: – (conventional telescopic shock absorbers, strut-type shock absorbers, and spring seat shock absorbers)
Conventional Telescopic Absorbers
A conventional telescopic is the form of a vehicle shock absorber. For this reason, it must be replaced rather than repaired. The conventional telescopic absorber is installed on both the front and rear of the vehicle. This makes it relatively inexpensive.
Strut Type Shock Absorber
Part of the suspension system contains struts and must be built to cope with the greater forces and loads. They are often found in small to medium vehicles. They are found on the front and rear of the vehicles. The strut comes with two sections, one that is sealed and the other repairable. As the name suggests, the sealed section cannot be repaired but replaced.
Spring Seat Shocks
The spring seat type offers the characteristics of both strut type and telescopic shock absorber. Spring seat shocks contain a suspension unit and dampening device like strut suspension. However, it is not designed to be subjected to high side loads. Spring seat shock absorbers require full replacement, just like conventional shock absorbers.
How Do They Work?
Shock absorbers are designed in a way that they resemble a pump and help keep a vehicle’s tyres touching the road by governing the recoil of the springs. As long as the tyres continue to be in contact with the road, it will make the steering, handling, and breaking responsive. This will help the vehicle driver and occupants safe. Moreover, it keeps the ride smooth, which reduces the effects caused by bumps and uneven roads.