How to Select Air Springs   Image Credits: Firestone | Direct Industry | Too Too    Air springs contain a column of air in an elastomeric bellow or sleeve to provide suspension, isolation, or actuation. Commonly found in vehicle suspension systems, occasionally in conjunction with a coil spring, they are also used to insulate vibration in machinery and as linear or angular actuators.   Air Spring Operation   Air springs...
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Q & A on Air Springs

We asked our users for their input on Air Springs. Here are the results of 56 users familiar with Air Springs.

Who Took Our Poll? | Design Trends | Applications and Use | Features | Buying Advice

Who Took Our Poll?Top

Design TrendsTop

Q:
What new technologies are influencing air spring design?
7 answers
Answers:
The frequency of the element is getting more interesting as the different applications will get broader. (bounce)
~Svante A, Faculty/Staff, Uppsala, Sweden
Bias material, rubber compound, all help reduce amount of materials used, and reduce weight.
~Marketing/Sales, Meadowbank, Australia
The use of epichloridrin compound for high temperature.
~Alberto Z., General Management, Torino, Italy
Can be manufactured without using bladders.
~Technical Support/Services, Chennai, India
OEM manufacturers ie Hendrickson, Ridewell
~KEN H, Marketing/Sales, PENTICTON, CANADA
Influencing spring rate
~anurag kohli, marketing/sales, ankleshwar, india
Motor dampers
~RICHARD D, Research & Development, ORANGEVILLE, CANADA

Q:
From your perspective, which companies are creating the most innovative air springs?
6 answers
Answers:
Universal air for their McPherson strut air spring.
~Jason G, Design Engineer, Santa fe springs, CA
firestone, contitech, oria , norgren
~anurag kohli, marketing/sales, ankleshwar, india
Firestone Goodyear
~KEN H, Marketing/Sales, PENTICTON, CANADA
Duquette Motors
~RICHARD D, Research & Development, ORANGEVILLE, CANADA
Firestone
~Alberto Z., General Management, Torino, Italy
Firestone
~Marketing/Sales, Meadowbank, Australia

Applications and UseTop

Q:
What are some of the applications you have used air springs for?
18 answers
Answers:
In place of coil springs. On my 1961 Cadillac I put two air springs in place of the factory coil springs for an improved ride and to be able to lay the car down on the ground.
~Jason G, Design Engineer, Santa fe springs, CA
Conveyor belts, web tensioning, presses, scissor lifts, vibrating packers, bin hoppers, compressor isolators, commercial laundry machine isolators, vibrating screens
~Marketing/Sales, Meadowbank, Australia
I have used them to isolate vibration and to modify the dynamic behavior of many different kinds of machines to enable the application of automatic balancing.
~Engineering, Design, Calgary, Canada
I have implemented air springs in heavy commercial vehicles, especially luxury buses.
~Engineering, Design, Chennai, India
Suspension, vibration control, presses, scissor lifts, aeronautical, mining industry
~Purchasing, Melton, Australia
Retail/wholesale replacement Sales Commercial truck/trailer application
~KEN H, Marketing/Sales, PENTICTON, CANADA
Buses, Railways,Truck Seats and various types of industrial applications.
~Technical Support/Services, Chennai, India
Air suspension, vibration isolation, actuation, material lifting
~anurag kohli, marketing/sales, ankleshwar, india
Recently cars, before that heavy equipment for the industry.
~Svante A, Faculty/Staff, Uppsala, Sweden
We use them as sound isolation mounts in testing our valves.
~Manufacturing, Tucson, AZ
Load balancing, lifting devices, roller tensioning
~Alberto Z., General Management, Torino, Italy
Truck and truck cab suspensions.
~General Management, San Diego, CA
Vibration isolation
~Engineer, Emiliano Zapata, Mexico
Pulp mill shakers
~Engineering, Consulting, Claremont, Australia
Pressure gauges
~General Corporate Mgmt, Milano, Italy
R&D testing
~RICHARD D, Research & Development, ORANGEVILLE, CANADA
Cushioning
~Manufacturing, Faridabad, India
Sawmills
~Marketing/Sales, Merritt, Canada

Q:
Please share with us any “non-standard” applications that air springs have been used for.
4 answers
Answers:
PC support stands
~RICHARD D, Research & Development, ORANGEVILLE, CANADA
Used in film industry
~Marketing/Sales, Meadowbank, Australia
In logging cart
~anurag kohli, marketing/sales, ankleshwar, india
I've seen a set of air springs on a bed for sleeping it ejected the people out of the bed.
~Jason G, Design Engineer, Santa fe springs, CA

Q:
Do you know of any disastrous mistakes that occurred due to the incorrect usage of air springs?
4 answers
Answers:
There has been a van that flipped over when an air spring was installed wrong so the air spring rubbed on the metal in the spring perch then it popped, which caused the van to drop and ended up flipping over and killing the occupants.
~Jason G, Design Engineer, Santa fe springs, CA
Yes, I have been involved in a costly court litigation caused by an air spring bursting which caused hearing damage to the machine operator.
~Alberto Z., General Management, Torino, Italy
Too high pressure, of course, and bottoming out due to leakage. Use some sort of regulator and auto-filler, and sometimes rusted plates.
~Svante A, Faculty/Staff, Uppsala, Sweden
Once a customer used it in high temperature area without know its working temperature.
~anurag kohli, marketing/sales, ankleshwar, india

FeaturesTop

Q:
What would your design or feature "wish list" be for this product?
7 answers
Answers:
An area where I feel improvement is needed is making the rubber part more flexible and at the same time improve the lifetime (resistance to repeated extension-compression cycles). I think it would be time to introduce into air springs the same high-tech materials (like kevlar) that are already employed in high-performance tires.
~Alberto Z., General Management, Torino, Italy
Ability to be held rigid for short periods of time without requiring deflation.
~General Management, San Diego, CA
Graphical information, stiffness vs. natural frequencies and loads
~Engineer, Emiliano Zapata, Mexico
Better cushion, long life, no or little maintenance
~Technical Support/Services, Chennai, India
Non friction air spring
~RICHARD D, Research & Development, ORANGEVILLE, CANADA
Circular
~anurag kohli, marketing/sales, ankleshwar, india
I´m a fan of not building "unidampers" as lifting force and damping capabilities may vary.
~Svante A, Faculty/Staff, Uppsala, Sweden

Q:
Is there any advice you want to share with users to help them avoid common errors in selection or usage of air springs?
5 answers
Answers:
Do not exceed the height/stroke limits shown on the manufacturer's catalog, in fact allow a safety margin, especially regarding maximum height and maximum pressure.
~Alberto Z., General Management, Torino, Italy
Select as per loading conditions as well as maintain air pressure.
~anurag kohli, marketing/sales, ankleshwar, india
Take your time and read all you can before making a selection.
~Jason G, Design Engineer, Santa fe springs, CA
Use the proper replacement.
~KEN H, Marketing/Sales, PENTICTON, CANADA
Run air mid range.
~RICHARD D, Research & Development, ORANGEVILLE, CANADA

Buying AdviceTop

Q:
Do you have any advice for people relative to buying or using air springs?
5 answers
Answers:
I think that the saying "you get what you pay for" is particularly true for Air Springs.
~Alberto Z., General Management, Torino, Italy
Spend the money to buy the better air spring - don't always go the cheap way out.
~Jason G, Design Engineer, Santa fe springs, CA
Please avoid to using unbranded one since it is most sensitive product.
~Technical Support/Services, Chennai, India
Please use it in proper temperature range.
~anurag kohli, marketing/sales, ankleshwar, india
Use a proven product.
~KEN H, Marketing/Sales, PENTICTON, CANADA


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