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Advanced Seat Suspension Control System Design for Heavy Duty Vehicles

Advanced Seat Suspension Control System Design for Heavy Duty Vehicles

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Advanced Seat Suspension Control System Design for Heavy Duty Vehicles

513 pagine
3 ore
May 22, 2020


Advanced Seat Suspension Control System Design for Heavy Duty Vehicles provides systematic knowledge of the advanced seat suspension design and control for heavy duty vehicles.

Nowadays, people are paying more and more attention to ride comfort and the health of drivers and passengers. This is especially for heavy duty vehicles, where drivers/operators are exposed to much severer vibrations than those in passenger vehicles due to a harsh working environment, operating conditions, and long hour driving, etc. Seat suspension systems can effectively help to suppress the high magnitude vibration transmitted to drivers with relatively simple structure and low cost, and hence are widely adopted in heavy duty vehicles.

This book helps researchers and engineers to have a comprehensive understanding of the seat suspension system and to conduct in-depth studies on seat suspension design and control; this book covers a wide range of perspectives about seat suspension design and control methods.

  • Describes the variable damping, variable stiffness, and, especially, variable inertance seat suspensions
  • Provides the advanced and comprehensive knowledge about semi-active vibration control
  • Introduces the multiple-DOF seat suspension
  • Includes the innovative hybrid seat suspension and nonlinear seat suspension
  • All the introduced designs have been prototyped and experimentally validated
  • Provides Matlab Simulation programming codes
May 22, 2020

Informazioni sull'autore

Haiping Du has more than 15-year experience on the area of modelling, dynamics and control of electrified vehicles. Dr Du received his PhD degree in mechanical design and theory from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, PR China, in 2002. Previously, Dr Du worked as Research Fellow in University of Technology, Sydney and as Post-Doctoral Research Associate in Imperial College London and the University of Hong Kong, respectively.

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Anteprima del libro

Advanced Seat Suspension Control System Design for Heavy Duty Vehicles - Haiping Du

Advanced Seat Suspension Control System Design for Heavy Duty Vehicles

Haiping Du

Weihua Li

Donghong Ning

Shuaishuai Sun


Quan Min Zhu



Title page


Chapter 1: Introduction


1. Background and motivation

2. Whole-body vibration

3. Seat suspension for vertical vibration control

4. Seat suspension for nonvertical or multiple-DOF vibration control

5. Our contribution and future opportunities

6. Discussions

Chapter 2: Controllable electromagnetic damper-based seat suspension


1. Introduction

2. Damping controllable EMD

3. Variable damping seat suspension with EMD

4. H∞ Controller design

5. Evaluation

6. Conclusions

Chapter 3: Controllable magnetorheological fluid damper-based seat suspension


1. Introduction

2. The structure of the innovative seat suspension with rotary MR damper

3. The property test of the seat suspension and results discussion

4. Experimental effectiveness evaluation of the rotary MR seat suspension

5. Conclusion


Chapter 4: Self-powered MR seat suspension


1. Introduction

2. The structure and analysis of the self-powered seat suspension

3. The property test of the seat suspension

4. Testing result of the seat suspension under different constant currents

5. Controller design

6. Vibration reduction evaluation of the self-powered MR seat suspension

7. Conclusion

Chapter 5: Variable equivalent stiffness seat suspension


1. Introduction

2. Variable stiffness seat suspension

3. A seat suspension with electrical variable stiffness device

4. A seat suspension with electromagnetic variable stiffness device

5. Conclusion

Chapter 6: Variable equivalent inertance seat suspension


1. Introduction

2. Variable inertance seat suspension with MR damper

3. Variable inertance seat with electromagnetic device

4. Conclusions

Chapter 7: Single-DOF active seat suspension


1. Introduction

2. Seat suspension design

3. Friction model identification

4. Transformation of torque to force

5. Conclusion

Chapter 8: Multiple-DOF active seat suspension


1. Introduction

2. Roll movement effect on ride comfort and health

3. Seat suspension model

4. Controller design

5. Evaluation of the proposed method

6. Conclusion

Chapter 9: Active seat suspension control algorithm


1. Introduction

2. Disturbance observer based Takagi-Sugeno fuzzy control for an active seat suspension

3. Vibration reduction of seat suspension using observer based terminal sliding mode control with acceleration data fusion

Chapter 10: Hybrid active and semi-active seat suspension


1. Introduction

2. Hybrid seat suspension prototype

3. The seat suspension prototype test and model identification

4. Control algorithm

5. Evaluation

6. Conclusion

Chapter 11: Nonlinear stiffness seat suspension


1. Introduction

2. Magnetic spring

3. prototype test and model

4. A semi-active seat suspension with nonlinear stiffness

5. Simulation validation

6. Conclusions

Vibration profile generation for the seat suspension

Simulation of seat suspension control

Experimental setup



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Chapter 1



In this chapter, we give the background and motivation of the study of advanced seat suspension for heavy duty vehicles. The seat suspension is the most direct way to protect vehicle drivers and passengers from prolonged severe whole-body vibration (WBV). The most applied seat suspension only considers the reduction of vertical vibration as it is generally with the maximum percentage of magnitude in WBV. The multiple-degree of freedom seat suspension requires a more complicated structure and is more effective to the WBV control. Besides, from the point of energy consumption, we can classify the seat suspension into passive, active, and semi-active. We also discuss the possible future opportunities and development of the seat suspension research in this chapter.


seat suspension

whole-body vibration

vibration control



1. Background and motivation

In the construction, agriculture, mining, and even military field, heavy duty vehicles play an essential role. They have greatly enhanced work efficiency and made contributions to economic and social development. On the contrary, people who operate the heavy machines have to suffer the vibration transferred from the rough road, which has a significant influence on the operators’ discomfort, fatigue, and safety. Long-term exposure to high levels of whole-body vibration (WBV) could also cause physical pain in the driver’s neck/shoulders, lower back injuries, and other musculoskeletal diseases. WBV is a more severe issue in the heavy duty vehicles than in common passenger vehicles due to the following two reasons: (1) the road condition for heavy machine is generally very rough, which will inevitably cause fierce vibration to vehicles; and (2) the suspension of heavy machines and trucks must be hard enough to carry the loads; however, the hard suspension makes the vibrations easily transmitted to the driver’s body.

In general, the tires, vehicle suspension, and seat suspension are capable of mitigating the vibration. The stiffness of tires is high for supporting the vehicle; hence, tires can only isolate high-frequency vibration. Besides, their parameters cannot be tunned when the machine is operating. The vehicle suspensions can isolate most vibration; however, a reduction of the low-frequency vibration will increase the suspension deflection which will affect the vehicle operation; there is an inherent trade-off between ride comfort and suspension deflection when designing the vehicle suspensions. The seat suspension as the second vibration isolation system of vehicles (the first one is the vehicle suspension) is the most direct way to reduce the vibration to the driver body; we can modify and control it with much less cost than the vehicle suspension. Thus, the seat suspension is an effective way to improve the ride comfort. People have equipped heavy vehicles with passive seat suspensions, which can alleviate the influence of WBV to drivers. Nevertheless, the passive suspension has limited performance, especially when the vibration is around the natural frequency.

The primary motivation of this book is to create a more friendly and safer environment for operators of heavy duty vehicles who are suffering prolonged exposure to harmful vibrations by arming the heavy machinery and trucks with advanced seat suspension systems.

2. Whole-body vibration

The exposure of heavy duty vehicle deriver in WBV has drawn the attention of worldwide researchers [1-3]. Heavy duty vehicles drivers often expose to severe vibration that is transferred from rough road and operation tools, and the vibration magnitude levels are several times higher than those of passenger vehicles. During the daily operating tasks of five commonly used vehicles in the steelmaking and metal smelting industries, the comfort predictions based on ISO 2631-1 was ranging from Uncomfortable to Extremely Uncomfortable [4]. Salmoni et al. [5] presented three case studies in WBV assessment in the transportation industry, and they highlighted difficulties of the field testing about the limited time to learn about the work environment and poor control over the test set. Researchers have intensively investigated the relationship between seating systems and WBV. Paddan and Griffin [6] have evaluated the vibration isolation efficiency of seating in 100 work vehicles, which leads to the conclusion that the improvement of seating dynamics can lessen the severity of WBV. Kumar [7] studied the vibration in three axes of the seat pan of the heavy haul trucks used in overburden mining, and the vibration at those drivers’ third lumbar and seventh cervical vertebral. Dewangan et al. [8] have investigated the biodynamic responses to vertical vibration with different genders and 11 different anthropometric parameters on the seat-to-head vibration transmissibility responses in the vertical and fore-aft directions. Jack et al. [9] have quantified the 6-degree of freedom (DOF) WBV exposure levels of skidders during routine field operating tasks; the operators who reported low back pain and neck pain were exposed in lateral trunk bending and forward flexion for the highest percentage of the time. Cation et al. [10] presented comprehensive 6-DOF field data of forestry vehicle vibration; the skidder seats could amplify the WBV acceleration occurring at the seat/operator interface when compared to chassis.

All the studies have confirmed that the WBV is hazardous to drivers’ health. However, the improvement on the multiple-DOF WBV control is slow as limited attention has been paid for it. People show more passionate on the attenuation of vertical vibration. That tendency is reasonable as the vertical vibration is generally with the highest percentage of the WBV, and the multiple-DOF seat suspension would be expensive.

3. Seat suspension for vertical vibration control

The single-DOF seat suspensions for vertical vibration control have been extensively studied and applied in vehicles. We can classify it into passive, semi-active, and active seat suspensions; all of them have advantages and disadvantages. The single-DOF seat suspension schematics are shown in Fig. 1.1 where the passive seat suspension consists of a passive spring k and a passive damper C; the semi-active seat suspension includes a variable stiffness ∆k and/or a variable damping ∆c; the active seat suspension has an active actuator. From the point of energy consumption, the passive seat requires no energy input; the semi-active one will need energy for tuning of suspension parameters; the active seat suspension requires energy to counteract the vibration energy directly.

Figure 1.1   The seat suspension schematic.

(A) Passive seat suspension. (B) Semi-active seat suspension. (C) Active seat suspension.

3.1. Passive seat suspension

The passive seat suspension has the advantages of fail-safe, low cost, and simple structure. Hence, the heavy duty vehicles mostly apply passive seat suspensions in practice. Manufacturers and researchers try to optimize the stiffness and the damping coefficient of seat suspensions to acquire excellent performance [11]. For a passive vehicle suspension, due to its passivity, it can not only isolate most of the high-frequency vibration, but also amplify the low-frequency vibration around the resonance frequency which can bring severe shocks. The vertical vibration of a heavy duty vehicle seat is highest at the frequency range between 2 and 4 Hz, and heavy vehicle drivers usually experience vibration around 3 Hz which increases fatigue and drowsiness [2]. Many different approaches have been proposed to overcome this problem. Wan and Schimmels [12] applied nonlinear mechanical properties in the design of a seat suspension to improve isolation at the frequency of peak transmissibility. Le and Ahn [13] designed and fabricated vehicle seat with negative stiffness for improving its vibration isolation effectiveness under low excitation frequencies; the proposed seat suspension used tow symmetric negative stiffness structures in parallel to a positive stiffness structure.

The passive seat suspension in the market is often adjustable, such as the seat height. The damping and stiffness are also tunable in some passive seat suspensions; however, these types of seat suspensions do not have a control loop with feedback. They can only respond to the vibration excitation passively when the system parameters are set up.

3.2. Active seat suspension

The active suspension is the most effective way to improve ride comfort as it utilizes active actuators to counteract the vibration. There are three categories of active actuators: electromagnetic actuators, hydraulic actuators, and pneumatic actuators [14]. The electromagnetic actuators have successfully drawn most of the attention due to its quick response and relatively simple structure to its counterparts. Gan et al. [15] presented an active seat suspension with two electromagnetic linear actuators to reduce the vibration level transmitted to the occupant under low-frequency periodic excitation. Kawana and Shimogo [16] used an electric servomotor with a ball screw mechanism as the active seat suspension actuator. Perisse and Jezequel [17,18] developed a seat suspension system with a rotary motor and a rack/pinion device to transform torque into vertical force. The advantage of hydraulic actuators is its large output which can carry heavy mass [19]. Maciejewski et al. [20] proposed an active seat suspension system composed of a hydraulic absorber and a controlled air spring; in the 0.5-4 Hz frequency range, the high system robustness of the actively controlled suspension was achieved, and the passive and active seat suspensions showed similar behavior at higher frequencies. The pneumatic actuator is working as a controllable air spring in the seat suspension. Le et al. [21] proposed an active pneumatic vibration isolation system using negative stiffness structures for low excitation frequencies; in order to address the time-varying and nonlinear behavior of the proposed system, an adaptive intelligent backstepping controller is designed.

The active system has apparent pros and cons in the seat suspension system. Indeed, the active system can bring high performance in ride comfort-however, the high cost, high energy consumption, and considerable volume constraint its application in vehicles. The only off-the-shelf product comes from ClearMotion for trucks (; it can effectively cancel vibration from the road and isolate drivers from long-distance driving discomfort.

3.3. Semi-active seat suspension

Semi-active vibration control as a trade-off between passive and active control strategies is capable of varying its damping and/or stiffness of a mechanical system in order to address the undesired vibration with less energy consumption than an active system. In the meanwhile, it keeps the fail-safe characteristic of the passive system. For a single-DOF system, the increase of damping can suppress the resonance vibration, while the changes of stiffness can drift the natural frequency [22-24]. This property has inspired the design of semi-active seat suspensions. The Magnetorheological (MR) fluid which can change its viscosity with an energized coil has been widely accepted in semi-active actuator development for vehicle suspension [25-28]. Choi et al. [29] presented a semi-active seat suspension with an MR fluid damper for commercial vehicles. Hiemenz et al. [30] developed a semi-active helicopter seat with an MR damper. The MR elastomer can be applied to build isolators for the seat suspension, which is also controlled by the magnetic field of a coil with current input [31]. The MR elastomer isolator has the property of variable stiffness that improves the semi-active seat suspension performance with a suboptimal H∞ controller [32]. Choi et al. [33] proposed a semi-active seat suspension with another smart material, electrorheological (ER) fluids, for the commercial vehicle; the built prototype and its sliding mode controller are validated by a hardware-in-the-loop simulation.

From the point of practical application, the semi-active seat suspension has a great prospect due to its excellent performance and relatively low cost. The LORD Corporation has released MR dampers for seat suspensions of agricultural, construction, and commercial vehicles, and has the sales over 250,000 since 1998 (

4. Seat suspension for nonvertical or multiple-DOF vibration control

The seat suspensions for nonvertical vibration control are also reported. A driver seat with an MR elastomer-based can isolate the horizontal vibration [34]. A lateral seat suspension for off-road vehicles is designed and tested in the laboratory and field to demonstrate its potential in improving ride comfort [35].

The effects of WBV to drivers have drawn the attention of researchers; hence, several seat suspensions are proposed to deal with the multiple-DOF vibration. A patent has proposed a 6-DOF active seat suspension equipped with six actuators in the form of Stewart Platform [36]; its practicality needs to be validated considering its complicated structure. Kieneke et al. [37] presented a 2-DOFs active seat suspension for military vehicles, which can control the vertical and lateral vibration; experiments have been implemented to validate the effectiveness. Frechin et al. [38] applied a four-DOF motion system to develop a 4-DOF seat in roll, pitch, yaw, and heave; it can isolate the heave vibration and compensate the rest inclinations and translational accelerations generated during vehicle motion. Klooster [39] designed a multiple-DOF seat suspension tow that controls the vertical, horizontal, and pitch vibration with three parallel hydraulic actuators. Bai et al. [40] developed an integrated semi-active seat suspension for both longitudinal and vertical vibration. The multiple-DOF seat suspensions are generally with a more complicated structure and higher cost than single-DOF seats; hence, people tend to apply the single-DOF one in the heavy duty vehicles.

5. Our contribution and future opportunities

Authors have made contributions to the research field of seat suspension with persistent endeavor and attention. We have proposed several advanced seat suspensions which are validated with rigorous experiments. We have introduced an active seat suspension with a rotary motor [41], and practically implementable controllers are designed for it [42-44]. Then, we upgraded the single-DOF seat suspension to a multiple-DOF seat suspension with a two-layers structure for controlling WBV [45,46]. Our works about the semi-active seat suspension are variety. A rotary MR damper is developed and installed on a seat suspension [47], which is then modified to have a self-powered capability [48]. The hybrid seat suspension with an MR damper and an active actuator is proposed in [49]. Besides, we developed another type of variable damping seat suspension with an electromagnetic device [50,51]. We also have investigated the variable stiffness seat suspensions [52,53]. Inspired by the variable stiffness seat suspension, we proposed two innovative variable inertance seat suspensions [54,55]. In addition, we will present a nonlinear stiffness seat suspension with magnetic spring in this book.

Authors’ research in seat suspension has involved the active seat suspension, semi-active seat suspension, and multiple-DOF seat suspension. Although worldwide researchers have published massive excellent works, we find there are many opportunities in the study of seat suspension:

• The multiple-DOF seat suspension is worth more attention as it can significantly improve the ride comfort when drivers are suffering severe WBV. It could be developed with different DOFs according to vehicles which work in different scenarios. A total of 2- or 3-DOF seat suspensions could be designed to fulfill some practical engineering applications.

• The human body is directly interacting with the seat surface.

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