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Published by: Priyal Patel on Jan 10, 2013
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How to model a McPherson Suspension

1. General
The basic component of all automotive models is its suspension. This guide shows how to set-up the most classical front suspension system of a passenger car. It gives a general overview about the topology of suspension models and can be used as a fundamental model for your further work. The model can be further extended or parameterised for use in various different applications. Please note that in the Automotive+ database a fully parameterised model of the McPherson suspension is available along with many other standard suspensions.

2. Additional Features
During the model set-up it will also be shown, how to perform equilibrium calculations and eigenvalue calculations as well as how to animate the mode shapes.

3. Creating an Example Model
3.1. Concept
The model is a simple model to allow you to understand the topology and the concepts in SIMPACK. Designing suspension systems is a complicated process due to the closed loops involved. It’s very important to consider the topology of the system before starting to build-up the model in SIMPACK. You should build-up the model step-by-step. Define the bodies first and then connect them together in a chain. Finally close the loops. Force elements will be defined first with constant characteristics but later on you can define non-linear characteristics using input functions for your own models.

INTEC GmbH, Argelsrieder Feld 13, D-82234 Wessling, Tel. 0049 8153 9288 0, Fax 49 8153 9288 11, E-Mail intec@simpack.de, Seite 1

using the icons above. y. Fax 49 8153 9288 11. INTEC GmbH. D-82234 Wessling.de. Seite 2 .3.2. We recommend when working with SIMPACK to first create the topology of the model to help you understand how your model is to go together. Determine how the bodies are to be connected together including how many degrees of freedom they have and what forces act between them. Look at the topology of the intended model with the explanation of the symbols used. ? wheel_plate ? wheel arm wheel z arm chassis tyre Joints: z ? ?.2. ? Force Elements: tyre 3.2. 0049 8153 9288 0. z damper_upper z damper_lower 0 DOF damper chassis x. Argelsrieder Feld 13.? Constraints:.2 Define a new model and start the model setup window. gz damper_upper spring damper damper_lower spring x. Modelling 3. y. z steering_rod ?.1 Try to separate a McPherson suspension into rigid bodies. Tel. E-Mail intec@simpack.

2.de. 0049 8153 9288 0.3 Define a new body. Tel. Argelsrieder Feld 13.3. D-82234 Wessling. E-Mail intec@simpack. Seite 3 . calling it “Chassis” as shown in the figure below. Define Markers on the body INTEC GmbH. Fax 49 8153 9288 11.

7000000D-01 5.Body: $B_chasiss 0.0000000D-01 0.1999999D-01 3.0000000D+00 -1.1999999D-01 4. D-82234 Wessling.4000000D-01 $M_chasiss $M_chasiss_arm_front $M_chasiss_arm_rear $M_chasiss_steering_rod $M_chasiss_damper 3. 0049 8153 9288 0.de.8999997D-01 0. Seite 4 . E-Mail intec@simpack.4 To complete the body definition define the 3D Geometry.The position of the markers is shown below: . Tel.0000000D+00 1.6000000D-01 1. Argelsrieder Feld 13.2000000D-01 -1.0000000D-02 4.0000000D+00 0.2000000D-01 -1. Fax 49 8153 9288 11. The 3D geometry window is found in the lower left hand corner of the body definition main window.2000000D-01 -7. INTEC GmbH.2.0000000D+00 4.

Fax 49 8153 9288 11.de. which gives motion to the bodies relative to other bodies or to the inertial system.2000000D-01 $M_arm_chassis_arm_front 4.1999999D-01 -1.0000000D+00 $M_arm 4.2000000D-01 -1.6000000D-01 0. E-Mail intec@simpack.0000000D+00 0. 0049 8153 9288 0.1999999D-01 -1. D-82234 Wessling.2.0000000D+00 1.2000000D-01 $M_arm_chassis_arm_rear 7. Call the new body ‘arm’ and defined the mass as 5kg.6 Define a new body. Seite 5 . Define a joint as follows between the marker $M_chasiss and $M_Isys. Set the joint type to 0DOF. as in step 3 with the following data.2.2000003D-01 -1.3. Leave the default Inertia Tensor properties.2000000D-01 $M_arm_wheel_plate INTEC GmbH. Argelsrieder Feld 13.0000000D+00 0. Tel. 3. Define the following markers on the body: Body: $B_arm 0.5 After defining bodies in SIMPACK it is then necessary to define the joints.

Fax 49 8153 9288 11. Seite 6 .2. calling them arm1 to arm3.de. Argelsrieder Feld 13. Markers for arm2 primitive: $M_arm_chassis_arm_rear to $M_arm_wheel_plate Markers for arm3 primitive: $M_arm_chassis_arm_front to $M_arm_wheel_plate INTEC GmbH. Tel. E-Mail intec@simpack.3. D-82234 Wessling. 0049 8153 9288 0.7 For the 3D geometry define 3 new primitives on the body. This time choose the type point to point primitive and the markers shown in the figure below.

2000003D-01 -1. INTEC GmbH.2. D-82234 Wessling.2. Define 5kg as the mass and leave the Inertia Tensor values as the defaults.0000000D+00 $M_Wheel_plate $M_Wheel_plate_arm $M_Wheel_plate_steering_rod $M_Wheel_plate_wheel $M_Wheel_plate_0 $M_Wheel_plate_damper 3. as shown on the topology map.10 Define primitives to all connection points as shown in the picture above using the defined markers with point to point primitives.0000000D+00 0.9999998D-02 8. 0049 8153 9288 0.3000000D-01 0.2.11 Follow on the topology map the body chain and define the Joint from $M_arm_wheel_plate to $M_Wheel_plate_arm and use the Joint type 10. Fax 49 8153 9288 11. E-Mail intec@simpack.de. Define the following markers on the body: Body: $B_Wheel_plate 0.0000000D+00 0.3.0000000D+00 0.0000000D+00 0. a revolute Joint (type: 01) with the from marker $M_chasiss_arm_front and the to marker $M_arm_chassis_arm_front.3000002D-01 -7. Tel.0000000D+00 9.9 The next body is the wheel plate. Seite 7 .2000000D-01 7.0000000D+00 7.0000000D+00 6.2.0000004D-02 0. 3.0000001D-01 0.0000000D+00 0.0000000D+00 7. Argelsrieder Feld 13. 3.8 The joint of the body has.2000003D-01 0.

de.3.0000000D-02 $M_Steering_rod_chassis -7. For the 3D representation. define next the Body “Steering_rod”. 3. Tel.2. Argelsrieder Feld 13.3000002D-01 0. Fax 49 8153 9288 11.0000000D-01 9.6 m diameter.9999998D-02 $M_Steering_rod_wheel_plat INTEC GmbH. Leave the mass and inertia properties as the defaults.2 m width and 32 planes.2. define a primitive from type cylinder with 0. Define the following markers on the body: Body: $B_Steering_rod 0.7000000D-01 7.0000000D+00 1. also with the default Inertia properties like the other bodies already defined. 0049 8153 9288 0. type 02 from 3. You don’t need any extra markers on this body.14 The kinematic loop needs to be closed.13 The Joint of the wheel should $M_Wheel_plate_wheel to $M_wheel be a revolute joint.12 The next body should be the wheel with mass 10kg.2. Seite 8 .0000000D+00 3. 0.0000004D-02 0. D-82234 Wessling.0000000D+00 $M_Steering_rod -7. E-Mail intec@simpack.

17 To close the kinematic loop. E-Mail intec@simpack.15 Define a point to point primitive between $M_Wheel_plate_steering_rod and $M_Steering_rod_chassis the markers 3.3. Fax 49 8153 9288 11.2.2. Pick on the icon above and define a new constraint calling “steering”. 0049 8153 9288 0. 3. you also have to connect this body using a constraint to the Chassis.de.2. Argelsrieder Feld 13. For the markers and parameters look at the figure below.16 The joint is to be a user defined joint (type 25). where you have to allow the rotation about x and z. D-82234 Wessling. The Joint is defined between $M_Wheel_plate_steering_rod and $M_Steering_rod_wheel_plat. Tel. Seite 9 . INTEC GmbH.

2.0000000D+00 6. we have to define two more bodies. D-82234 Wessling. Argelsrieder Feld 13.0000000D+00 0.3000000D-01 5. 0049 8153 9288 0.2.18 To complete the other kinematic loop.0000000D+00 $M_Damper_lower 0.19 Use a point to point primitive between the markers $M_Damper_lower_wheel_plate and $M_Damper_Upper_upper. Define next the body “Damper_lower” with default mass and inertia properties.0500002D-01 0. Tel.de.4000000D-01 $M_Damper_lower_upper 3.0000000D+00 $M_Damper_lower_wheel_plate 4. E-Mail intec@simpack.8999997D-01 6.0000000D+00 0.0000000D+00 0.3.0000000D+00 0.0000001D-01 $M_Damper_lower_spring 3. Markers on the body: Body: $B_Damper_lower 0. Seite 10 . Fax 49 8153 9288 11. INTEC GmbH.

4000000D-01 $M_Damper_Upper_upper 3. 0049 8153 9288 0.2.2.0000001D-01 $M_Damper_Upper_lower 4. which has also default mass and inertia properties.de. D-82234 Wessling.0000000D+00 6. Argelsrieder Feld 13. $M_Wheel_plate_damper to 3.0000000D+00 $M_Damper_Upper 3.0500002D-01 5. Fax 49 8153 9288 11. Tel. You have to define the following markers on it: Body: $B_Damper_Upper 0.20 The Joint of the body goes from $M_Damper_lower_wheel_plate with 0DOF. E-Mail intec@simpack.0000000D+00 0.2.8999997D-01 0.22 Use a point to point primitive between the markers $M_Damper_Upper_lower and $M_Damper_Upper_upper. INTEC GmbH.3.0000000D+00 0.0000000D+00 0.21 The last body is the “Damper_upper”. Seite 11 .

3. D-82234 Wessling. Use the user defined joint again and lock all the translational freedoms. Tel.24 This body is the last element of the kinematic loop. Argelsrieder Feld 13.de. Seite 12 . Fax 49 8153 9288 11. INTEC GmbH. E-Mail intec@simpack. so please define a constraint as in step 18) with the name “damper” between the markers $M_Damper_Upper_upper and $M_chasiss_damper. 0049 8153 9288 0.23 The Joint of the body goes from $M_Damper_lower_spring $M_Damper_Upper_lower with a prismatic Joint ( type 06).2.2. to 3.

E-Mail intec@simpack.2.de.26 As a last step in the model setup. we will define the spring-damper unit. Click on the icon below.3.25 To carry out the kinematic loop calculations select the icon below and follow the instructions for the joint states.15m for the diameter and 10 windings for the representation of the force element INTEC GmbH. Pick on the icon and define 0. Argelsrieder Feld 13. 3. Tel. Fax 49 8153 9288 11. define a new force element and type the parameters in the window as shown in the figure. Seite 13 .2. 0049 8153 9288 0. D-82234 Wessling.

then perform the calculations and save the results INTEC GmbH. After the calculation save the results and reload your model. First select the force parameters with all possible forces. Argelsrieder Feld 13. D-82234 Wessling.27 Save the Model! 3. Click on selection of force parameters and pick in the new window. Seite 14 . E-Mail intec@simpack. 0049 8153 9288 0. save the settings and exit the window.3. Fax 49 8153 9288 11.29 Nominal Force Calculation With the icon above or in the calculation menu in the main window you can open the nominal force calculation block. Then close the window and select perform. Tel.de. Click on the icon below to perform the time integration + measurements! 3. “Init with all possible forces”.2.2.28 Close the Model Setup window and define the solver settings in the Main window! In the Menu Calculation/Time Integration/Configure set end time of the simulation to 5 seconds.2. see below.

chassis and subframe models. easily extendable suspension models which are compatible with the according steering. In the model setup window.de. set the scaling and start the animation. however. Argelsrieder Feld 13. E-Mail intec@simpack. For instance the suspension library of SIMPACK Automotive+ includes fully parameterised. Outlook As a general multi-body simulation system SIMPACK offers many ways to set up a McPherson suspension. INTEC GmbH. The modelling style which was shown in this tutorial was chosen to guarantee an easy understanding of the essentials of SIMPACK. 0049 8153 9288 0. Just select perform.30 Using the nominal force calculations you set your system to the equilibrium state.3. Seite 15 . Fax 49 8153 9288 11. there are more sophisticated and more effective ways of creating such a model which better fit the needs of professional users. 4.2. D-82234 Wessling. Select eigenvalues. Tel. menu Animation/Model Shapes opens the Animation control panel. save the results and reload the model. You can start the eigenvalue calculations either from the menu calculation or directly from the icon above. It is now possible to carry out eigenvalue calculations. Please contact INTEC for additional information.

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