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Modern automotive development processes utilize more and more virtual design and testing methods to increase development efficiency. These methods help coping with challenges like variant diversity, availability of prototypes and testing facilities as well as reproducibility of results. Prerequisite for the application of virtual methods are simulation models of sufficient accuracy. This applies also to the present subject of research, which focuses on the virtual development of passenger car ride comfort behavior by the use advanced simulation models. Full vehicle simulation offers great potential in this field when designing desired vehicle ride and dynamic performance in early development stages, as long as sufficiently accurate models for e.g. tires and suspension components exist. This research points out the particular role of the shock absorber model as one key contributor to overall model fidelity. A comparative analysis has been conducted on shock absorber models of different complexity levels ranging from low resolution lookup-tables over high resolution maps up to advanced semi-physical models which can reproduce friction and gas forces with high precision in order to identify the impact on full vehicle ride comfort behavior. Real vehicle measurements fulfilled the function of references for simulation quality comparison, while selected key performance indicators (KPIs) have been used to quantify the respective model performance. Besides other findings, the research has shown a high impact of model accuracy at the so-called small signal range (ultra-low damper excitation velocities with less than 10 millimeter per second) and at changes in direction of damper movement. On one hand these results may serve as a recommendation for advanced shock absorber model accuracy, but on the other hand they rely heavily on a correctly parametrized simulation framework. While the full vehicle simulation method might not replace classical in-vehicle assessment and tuning, it may complement the development process in several ways. For example, sensitivity analyzes can be carried out, with which the tuner can obtain decisive information for his tuning strategy in the vehicle. Furthermore, this method can also represent a preliminary phase for a possible Hardware-in-the-Loop application that is to be used for (pre-)tuning active dampers under laboratory conditions.
Mr. Matthias Becker, MdynamiX AG, GERMANY Mr. Alessandro Contini, Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Center GmbH, GERMANY Mr. David Benz, TU Wien, GERMANY Prof. Dr. Peter E. Pfeffer, Munich University of Applied Sciences, GERMANY