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KW Tech: What shock absorbers are for

Posted 04 January 2012 | news   

Ever wondered just what shock absorbers do? The hint’s in the name! Shock absorbers slow down the vibrations generated by wheels, axles and the chassis. Therefore, the technically correct name is vibration damper. When driving over an uneven surface, the shock absorbers take up the impact of the shock. The damper then tries to transfer the incoming energy. In a short timespand, these continuing shocks lead to a vibration.

These movements are then transferred to the shock absorber by the piston rod. Thereby, the kinetic energy is transformed into heat by hydraulic resistance in the shock absorber valves. Therefore the vibrations are reduced to a minimum and can hardly be sensed.

An intact shock absorber offers driving comfort and safety and prevents:

  • Rocking when driving over continuously uneven surfaces
  • Pitching or strong dipping during acceleration and braking
  • Spinning wheels
  • Swerving out of control while breaking
  • Sliding when cornering with minimal traction

In automobiles, vibration dampers are usually used as twin tube or mono tube shock absorbers. In both cases, the piston moves in a cylinder filled with oil. The piston forces the oil though orifices of different sizes, slowing the movement of the rod, and controlling the spring.

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