Aston Martin Partners with Domin for a Revolutionary Take on Active Suspension
Post 1: Prototype
The iconic British sports car manufacturer Aston Martin, and the engineering specialists at Cranfield University have partnered with Domin to develop a world-leading suspension system within a demanding six-month timeframe. Using Domin’s patented technology, this state-of-the-art system promises to shock the automotive industry.
The Need for Active Suspension
Current suspension systems are both big and heavy. By nature of their passive design, their optimal response occurs only in a narrow frequency range. It can only meet the needs of constantly changing road surfaces through a combination of variable damping and spring rate. Only an active system provides this and, while attempts have been made in this area, active suspension is not yet an industry standard.
The aptly named FAST (full active suspension technology) project aims to make this system the industry standard for luxury driving. Exceptional performance characteristics will distinguish the FAST unit from other active systems. Providing infinite variability in damping, with a step response as fast as 0.015 seconds, and all in a package weighing under 4kg per unit.
Domin's active suspension unit (shown fully retracted)
Collaboration with Aston Martin Means Serious Performance Gains
Working with a company as highly regarded as Aston Martin demonstrates the huge potential of the project. Domin will work side by side with Aston Martin, using their renowned expertise, to set the specifications of the unit. Furthermore, the suspension will also be tested fully fitted to one of their extensive range of luxury sports cars.
In addition, Domin has partnered with Cranfield University, who will provide the vehicle modelling and early-stage validation. The FAST project is funded by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles through the Niche Vehicle Network. With commercial, educational and government backing, this further reinforces the direction of travel for future suspension systems.
The Fast Track from Conceptional Design to Manufacture
The design of this suspension system will be based upon Domin’s patented valve technology. Twenty-five fluid galleries operate in unison to transport hydraulic fluid throughout the system, all of which are encased within a fully additive manufactured core.
The curvilinear nature of the unit internals is achievable only through additive manufacture, which also allows for its exceptional mechanical properties. Combined with sophisticated electronics and control, and Domin’s advanced machining capabilities make this project possible.
Real-world testing will be undertaken on a bespoke test rig. Its capabilities will include replicating the precise modes of resonance and simulating the conditions the unit will undergo in use. With the rig complete, the high-performance characteristics will be put to the test, whilst also ensuring the unit mechanically robust.
Following the completion of the FAST project, we will be reporting back to showcase the complete suspension system and its performance in testing. After this huge milestone, we will be turning our attention towards producing a production unit, with the end goal of becoming the industry standard for suspension.
This project underlines our continuing commitment to pushing the boundaries of hydraulic valves and systems by using our unique engineering design and additive manufacturing prowess. Domin produces more compact, efficient, and high-performing solutions.