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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2016, Article ID 5169018, 12 pages
Research Article

Efficient Method for Calculating the Composite Stiffness of Parabolic Leaf Springs with Variable Stiffness for Vehicle Rear Suspension

State Key Laboratory of Automotive Simulation and Control, Jilin University, Changchun 130025, China

Received 7 October 2015; Revised 28 January 2016; Accepted 2 February 2016

Academic Editor: Reza Jazar

Copyright © 2016 Wen-ku Shi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The composite stiffness of parabolic leaf springs with variable stiffness is difficult to calculate using traditional integral equations. Numerical integration or FEA may be used but will require computer-aided software and long calculation times. An efficient method for calculating the composite stiffness of parabolic leaf springs with variable stiffness is developed and evaluated to reduce the complexity of calculation and shorten the calculation time. A simplified model for double-leaf springs with variable stiffness is built, and a composite stiffness calculation method for the model is derived using displacement superposition and material deformation continuity. The proposed method can be applied on triple-leaf and multileaf springs. The accuracy of the calculation method is verified by the rig test and FEA analysis. Finally, several parameters that should be considered during the design process of springs are discussed. The rig test and FEA analytical results indicate that the calculated results are acceptable. The proposed method can provide guidance for the design and production of parabolic leaf springs with variable stiffness. The composite stiffness of the leaf spring can be calculated quickly and accurately when the basic parameters of the leaf spring are known.