Cemar International

The Evolution of Armored Vehicles Suspension Systems: From Torsion Bars to Active Dampers

Armored vehicles, such as tanks and military personnel carriers, require specialized suspension systems to handle the weight of the vehicle and provide adequate mobility in various terrain conditions. Over the years, the evolution of armored vehicle suspension systems has seen significant advancements, from torsion bars to active dampers, to improve vehicle performance, comfort, and survivability.

Torsion Bars

Torsion bar suspension systems were widely used in early armored vehicles due to their
simplicity and reliability. A torsion bar is a cylindrical bar that resists twisting when subjected to a load. In a torsion bar suspension system, the torsion bars are connected to the chassis and the suspension arms. When the wheels encounter an obstacle or uneven terrain, the torsion bars twist, storing energy and providing the necessary suspension travel to absorb shocks. Torsion bar suspension systems are durable and can handle heavy loads, but they have limited adjustability and can be relatively stiff, resulting in harsh ride quality

Coil Springs

As armored vehicles became larger and heavier; torsion bars were gradually replaced with coil springs in many modern armored vehicle suspension systems. Coil springs are more versatile and can be easily adjusted for different vehicle weights and terrains. They provide a smoother ride and better shock absorption compared to torsion bars. Coil springs can be placed in various positions in the suspension system, such as over the axle or inboard, which allows for more flexibility in design and packaging. However, coil springs are susceptible to damage from debris and require additional space for installation, which may not be ideal in some military applications.

Hydraulic Dampers

Along with the evolution of springs, hydraulic dampers, also known as shock absorbers, have become an integral part of modern armored vehicle suspension systems. Hydraulic dampers use fluid pressure to dampen the oscillation of the springs, reducing the effects of shocks and vibrations. They help to improve vehicle stability, control, and ride comfort by controlling the movement of the suspension system. Hydraulic dampers can be tuned for different damping characteristics, allowing for better customization to suit specific vehicle requirements and terrain conditions.

Active Dumpers

Active damper technology has further advanced armored vehicle suspension systems. Active dampers use sensors and actuators to adjust damping characteristics in real time, allowing for dynamic adjustments based on vehicle speed, terrain, and other parameters. This enables precise control over the suspension system, optimizing vehicle performance, stability, and survivability. Active dampers can rapidly respond to changing conditions, providing enhanced ride comfort, and reducing wear and tear on the vehicle components. They can also be integrated with other vehicle systems, such as electronic stability control and adaptive suspension systems, for better performance.

In conclusion, the evolution of armored vehicle suspension systems has seen significant
advancements, from torsion bars to coil springs, hydraulic dampers, and active dampers. These advancements have improved vehicle performance, comfort, and survivability in various terrain conditions, making modern armored vehicles more capable and effective in military operations