Trailer Magazine

Powerdown on low pressure gas shocks

  • Posted on Friday 6th, April 2018.

Heavy-duty equipment specialist, Powerdown, is offering Supershock Low Pressure Gas shock absorbers, optimising durability and suspension performance for semi-trailers.

Modern suspension design has seen air suspensions become lighter and more compact, enhancing payload and performance, according to Powerdown General Manager, Mathew Gatgens.

“These design changes have resulted in shock absorbers being moved to the forward position of the axle and mounted on various acute angles,” said Gatgens.

“The dampening requirements for shocks mounted near the pivot point of the axle are far greater than if they were mounted behind the axle, which is typical for truck air suspensions.

“Due to the positioning of these particular shocks, though, they operate on a very small stroke with high dampening forces and are more likely to top out, which usually occurs when a trailer’s ride height is out of specification,” he said.

Shock absorbers are primarily designed to operate in the mid-stroke position, according to Gatgens – adding that continuous topping out of a shock absorber can reduce the life of the unit by at least 70 per cent.

He explained that leaking shock absorbers are generally the most common cause for a fault. Other signs that may indicate an issue include: heavy shock absorber oil misting, accelerated bush wear, elongated eye rings and poor ride quality and load movement.

Responding to these suspension issues, Powerdown has expanded its Supershock Low Pressure Gas range with its recommended ride height sticker for trailers that may be susceptible to topping out.

“The sticker is strategically placed on the body of the shock absorber so that when it is mounted on the trailer it shows if the shock is operating in its mid stroke or ‘sweet spot’”, said Gatgens. “The other key benefits of the Supershock is the low pressure gas injection process to provide further cooling properties, allowing it to operate cooler for longer while resisting dampening performance loss.”

Gatgens said the low-pressure nitrogen gas was used in favour of high-pressure gas to avoid excessive pressure build-up on the main rod seal, improving the longevity of the unit.

“One thing that really stands out when you pick up the new Powerdown Supershock is the weight of the unit,” said Gatgens.

“No compromises were made when designing the shock absorber with a 2.5mm thick steel pressure tube and 2mm thick body. This not only provides better protection from stone damage but goes a long way to increasing the tensile strength of the shock absorber to cope with the higher dampening force requirements in Australia,” he said.

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