Innovative Products

The Benefit of Air Suspension Over Coil Spring Suspension

Today, nearly five per cent of all new passenger vehicles are equipped with factory-fitted air suspension, and the number is growing. Let’s see what are the benefits.

In the past, air suspension was offered on high end models only, in the last few years more and more mid-range vehicles enjoy the option.

To understand why the air suspension benefits of safety, stability and driving comfort help to drive the demand for air suspension, we need to understand several things that help best define air suspension.

To understand why air suspension offers the best combination of safety, stability and driving comfort, you should understand a bit more about suspension technology and the influence of spring rate on the behaviour of the vehicle.

Spring rate is easily defined as the force that is needed to compress a spring. The relation between the spring rate and the vehicle weight defines the tuning of the vehicle – towards comfort or performance for example. Generally, firmer suspension gives more stability but feels a bit harsh and uncomfortable, whereas softer suspension gives more comfort but has reduced stability. Conventional coil springs always need to compromise between the two extremes.

The relation between the vehicle weight and spring rate changes when the weight of the vehicle increases. Imagine a fully loaded vehicle (passengers and cargo), the extra load increases the vehicle weight. In this example, an adaptation in the spring rate is necessary to keep the vehicle oscillations in motion at the same rate. When this happens successfully, a load-independent driving experience is established. In a vehicle with air suspension, the adaptation in the spring rate is provided by the progressive behaviour of the air spring and by changing the air pressure within the air spring. Coil springs do not have the same flexibility, and thus the comfort or the stability (or both) would be impaired with the extra load.

An air suspension system is equipped with ride height sensors on the vehicle axels that keep the vehicle levelled as well as perform other functions. These level sensors capture the undesired change in the road surface (worn or damaged road surfaces for example), and the system automatically increases the air pressure in the air spring to bring the vehicle back to its original operating level. The vehicle will not bottom out and the tire wear and road contact are more consistent.

With a conventional coil spring suspension system, the chassis gets closer to the ground when it is heavily loaded. This shortens the stroke of the shock absorber, and the vehicle is more likely to bottom out on rough roads or uneven surfaces (for example, over potholes). Additionally, the wheel alignment is affected, causing tire wear and decreased road contact.

Air suspension systems can contribute to lower fuel consumption. At highway speeds, the air pressure inside the air spring is reduced, lowering the vehicle body, and thus decreases the drag coefficient on the vehicle, thereby saving fuel.

Air suspension inherently naturally isolates vehicle passengers from road harshness, resulting in a smooth and comfortable ride. Many vehicle owners describe this as the biggest advantage of driving a vehicle with air suspension.

Trusted for Over Three Decades – Arnott has been innovating, engineering and manufacturing the highest quality aftermarket air suspension products since 1989.

Premium Components – Name brand air sleeves and bladders as well as other tier one components are used in Arnott product. Leading OE suppliers including ContiTech, Eibach, WABCO and VOSS supply premium materials for our top-quality products.

Superior Systems – With relentless commitment to R&D, manufacturing and testing, Arnott maintains ISO manufacturing standards throughout its facilities in the US and Europe.

OE Fit Every Time – Arnott parts require no modifications to fit on the vehicle. Most come pre-assembled and include all necessary fittings and hardware. Detailed installation manuals and a comprehensive library of professional installation videos ensure a successful “remove and replace” experience.

Choice – New or remanufactured, Arnott is the smart choice in replacement air suspension systems.

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