Delphi Corporation, Delphi Energy & Chassis

MagneRide variable suspension damping

MagneRide suspension damping represents a new approach to high performance, semi-active suspension control systems. As in predecessor systems, it is superior to conventional dampers, in that it responds in real time to variations in road and driving conditions, and reduces the need for designers to make the traditional trade-off between ride comfort on the one hand and handling performance on the other or go to an active system. MagneRide provides a new standard of performance that exceeds earlier valve-based semi-active systems across all dimensions: bounce, rebound, stability, rolling smoothness, impact feel, impact noise, coarse road isolation, wheel control, and “wow factor.”

MagneRide’s extreme damping bandwidth and high-speed reaction time are due to its innovative use of magneto-rheological fluid and computer-controlled electro-magnets to alter damping rates instantaneously. MagneRide adjusts damping rates in as little as 5 milliseconds, based on input from sensors that monitor body and wheel motions, and other inputs, such as steering wheel position. Supported by sensors and improved software algorithms, this suspension can respond in real time to a variety of road conditions to provide an unprecedented combination of comfort and performance, at a price. MagneRide is superior to mechanical, valve-based semi-active dampers, providing the fastest-reacting suspension system with the widest range of damping control adjustment, and at low rates of suspension movement and deflections.

Aside from its performance benefits, the single-tube MagneRide unit is much simpler and more easily manufactured than the valve-based semi-active units that it replaces, leading to better consistency, less scrap, and ultimately lower cost compared to other advanced suspensions. The magneto-rheological fluid that is key to this innovative technology was developed by Delphi Research in conjunction with Lord Corporation. The hardware and algorithm development was done by Delphi. MagneRide is installed in the 2002 Cadillac STS and 2003 Chevrolet Corvette Anniversary Edition, as well as scheduled to appear in a number of other forthcoming models.