Page 1 of 2
Traditional vehicle suspension systems have always traded off between ride quality and vehicle handling because the technology to produce a soft ride with stable handling had proven commercially impossible.
Now, thanks to the revolutionary CLASS suspension system designed by LiquidSpring Technologies Inc., that is no longer the case. The CLASS system replaces steel or air springs, eliminates the need for shock absorbers, and does not suffer from the vagaries of air springs, such as condensation.
LiquidSpring’s Compressible Liquid Adaptive Suspension System, like the DS96F suspension for the E-450 chassis, pictured, automatically adjusts to road conditions and driving style.
CLASS is an acronym for Compressible Liquid Adaptive Suspension System, which uses a compressible fluid as the spring and damping medium to provide both an extremely soft and extremely stiff spring in the same vehicle. An electronic control system takes sensor data from the vehicle, such as speed, steering and variance in ride height, and puts it through a series of algorithms that adjusts the amount of compressible liquid at any given moment. Basically, CLASS responds to various road conditions and driving styles by automatically and instantaneously adjusting spring stiffness and damping at each wheel independently to increase roll control and stability.
The system is available for the Ford E-450, F-450 and F-550 chassis. Richard Meyer, president of LiquidSpring Technologies, says CLASS will be coming soon to the Dodge 5500 chassis, the Navistar line, and the Chevrolet 4500.
CLASS offers two modes: Comfort and Sport. Comfort mode results in the system minimally using higher strut spring stiffness to maximize ride comfort while maintaining handling control. Sport mode results in the system moderately using higher strut spring stiffness to improve handling control while maintaining ride comfort. The spring stiffness is changed automatically without driver intervention.
Normally, the strut is in its softest spring stiffness with all the compressible fluid active, but is changed on demand to a higher spring stiffness by closing a rate valve, thereby reducing the amount of active compressible fluid.