Designing and implementing an accurate suspension system with KONI
KONI has been a great partner of Delft Hyperloop for several years now. KONI is a Dutch company that is specialized in shock dampers for all modes of transportation. Therefore, their knowledge and advice are extremely helpful with designing our suspension system. Because our design has some similarities with the design of a train, engineers specialized in railway suspension helped us. Besides that, because of the specific design of a hyperloop, engineers who know more about car suspensions gave their advice as well.
This year we had several meetings with them, first they helped with conceptual challenges we encountered. Due to the tight schedule we have this year, their experience was very helpful to reach our design goals quickly and successfully. The shared enthusiasm to get the most out of the design made the meetings besides being useful, very fun as well. Several design flaws could be worked out and some critical points in our design were warned for so we could focus on preventing those. For example, because of the bi-directional design, there was a concern that two of the four vertical wheels would become unstable and lock-up. The Koni engineers supported us in finding a suitable solution.
During the assembly and testing phase, the help of KONI was still relevant. The Rockshox shock dampers we selected for our design, did not come with data sheets for the different spring and damping settings. To get the expected performance out of the dampers, it was necessary that they were tested. KONI offered the required facilities at their workshop to perform these tests. We could compare the data with our vehicle dynamics model made during the design phase. After analyzing this data, we could determine the best settings for our suspension and reach the highest performance.
After the complete assembly, we were invited to the office of KONI. We gave a presentation about our final design and the complete design process. The figures above show KONI analyzing our vertical suspension system and also show our vertical suspension system assembled on the pod. After the presentation, we discussed our design and what would be possible in the future. We also received a tour of their workshop and other facilities, which gave us great insights in the workings and potential of shock damping. The cooperation with KONI this year was of great value and helped us achieve the best possible suspension system for our pod!