Shock absorbers ensure the contact between the road and the tire. If shock absorbers are designed too stiffly for empty runs, then the semi-trailer “hops” across the road. Infinitely adaptive air damping prevents this from happening. When there is little cargo on board, fewer air molecules flow through the valve and damping is softer. The higher the axle load, the more air that is needed. This creates additional valve friction and damping increases.
“Smart” also applies to the new air damping system from SAF-HOLLAND, which combines the functions of the air spring and the shock absorber in the chassis of semi-trailers and eliminates the need for hydraulic shock absorbers. A technological leap by omission resulting in a noticeable reduction in weight and thereby a higher payload. At the same time, air damping can adjust infinitely and automatically to the respective load condition. This not only offers more safety but also protects the tires and cargo.
Below the two air springs in both ends of the axle stub is another air chamber that provides a second, separate volume of air together with a hollow plunger.
During compression, the plunger pushes upwards and opens a valve. For pressure equalization, air flows into the second volume of air. When rebounding, it flows back through a second valve.
The flow of air through the narrow valve creates friction. The mechanical energy introduced to the chassis through shocks and bumps is converted into heat and thereby damped.