Power windows were once a tony option on cars; now they’re standard equipment. The same shift may be on the verge of taking place with suspension systems. At the recent Vehicle Dynamics Expo, held in Novi, MI, Wabco introduced a new line of high- and medium-power compressors for electronically controlled air suspension systems, specifically designed for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles.
These systems, which originally appeared in BMW’s high-end 7 series cars, adjust constant vehicle ride height, even when the vehicle is fully loaded. This increases vehicle safety and enhances passenger comfort, the company said in a statement. The first generation of these compressors appeared in the rear axle air suspension in the new BMW 7 series. The newly announced compressor series is designed to improve suspension performance, while at the same time making air suspension systems potentially more affordable for end-users. “From 2000 to 2008, the global demand for air suspension systems for passenger cars has nearly tripled and we expect continued growth in this market,” said Daniel Samson, Wabco vice president car systems and products, said in the statement. “In addition, original equipment manufacturers seek to increase fuel efficiency further by introducing the air suspension function, which improves vehicle aerodynamics by appropriately lowering the vehicle body at high speeds.”
Conventional wisdom holds that MIT, Cal Tech, and Stanford are three of the country’s best undergraduate engineering schools. Unfortunately, when conventional wisdom visits the topic of best engineering schools, it too often leaves out some of the most distinguished programs that don’t happen to offer PhD-level degrees.
Airbus Defence and Space has 3D printed titanium brackets for communications satellites. The redesigned, one-piece 3D-printed brackets have better thermal resistance than conventionally manufactured parts, can be produced faster, cost 20% less, and save about 1 kg of weight per satellite.
A group of researchers at the Seoul National University have discovered a way to take material from cigarette butts and turn it into a carbon-based material that’s ideal for storing energy and creating a powerful supercapacitor.
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