Luxury vehicles use softer materials to soak up engine vibrations, but Ford has an idea to remove the feeling of vibrations altogether.
How can you make the drive in a vehicle smoother? Without altering all the road structures and creating a surface that’s nearly like glass, the one area that an automaker has control over is the vehicle you drive. With a lot of moving parts working together, the largest of which being the engine, there’s a lot of vibrations and movement that you do eventually feel inside the vehicle.
Magnets May Be the Answer
If you were told that your engine doesn’t’ actually touch your vehicle at all would you believe it? Of course not, in fact, you expect the engine to be securely mounted to the frame. The engine is the heaviest part of any vehicle and needs to be secure and in place regardless of the amount of vibration, you feel through the frame and into the cabin. Ford doesn’t think this is necessary any longer and feels that engines can levitate in the engine bay with the use of magnets.
Changing the Engine Mounts
The idea is to make use of electromagnetic active engine mounts that isolate the vibrations of the engine from the chassis. Some of the higher-end automakers already use magnetorheological dampers to reduce the effects of the engine vibrations, but Ford is taking action to make use of magnetic bearings in a tube, similar to a shock absorber, to support the engine. The engine weight would be attached to the rod that fits into the tube with the bearings and the bearings could be magnetically charged to operate actively when the vehicle is turned on and in operation.
Removing the Physical Connection
By removing the physical connection between the engine and the chassis, there’s a chance that the vibrations could be removed from the equation completely. Putting the weight of the engine onto a rod in a tube while the tube is attached to the frame and the two are buffeted by the electromagnetic bearings, will reduce the effects of the vibrations of an engine. This could offer us the smoother ride we want and the feeling we’re certainly going to admire when it’s time to get behind the wheel and enjoy a great ride on the road.
More Moving Parts Requires More Maintenance
These new engine mounts could be fairly simple to create and might even be lighter than the mounts used now, but this new system does create more moving parts. This means there would be a need for more maintenance and the potential for something else to break down and not work right. Eventually, there’s a good chance that magnets will be how the engine and other items in our vehicles will remain attached and when that happens, we’re going to have an even smoother ride on the road. This new idea is certainly something to think about.
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