Is this Mercedes’ secret Reactive Ride Height (RRH) stability system?

Posted: January 26, 2012 in Formula 1, Teams, Technology
Tags: , , , ,

For a long time there have been rumours that Mercedes are about to run an innovative ride height stability system. A friend of mine just sent me this picture, which shows what could be Mercedes’ secret ride height stability system. It involves hydraulically interlinking the front and rear suspension. The system works around the basic equation for hydrostatic pressure (relative density (rho) of the fluid x g (acceleration) x L (length of the cylinder), taking advantage the different density of the fluids involved (i.e. 13.5 for mercury and circa 0.88 for typical hydraulic oil), by using the pressure difference under acceleration to work the piston. The design, which is copyrighted as per the image below, is legal since it does not involve any driver input and it doesn’t alter the configuration of the suspension. It’s a step forward from what teams are already doing by linking their left and right suspensions (see scarbsf1’s blog for more on that). The system proposed below by my friend can be termed as a “Mercury anti pitch / anti squat” system and is along the lines of what Mercedes GP are rumoured to be using…

Anti-Pitch & Squat Control with Mercury interlinked suspension

  1. I don’t think that Mercury will be allowed anywhere on the car. Or at least that’s what I remember from a recent articles, but I may be wrong …

    • abu says:

      Mercury is already being used by Lotus in their liquid inertia dampers. Of course you can use other liquids. The concept stands… 🙂

      • Mole says:

        The amount of mercury is fixed to a small amount because it’s hazardous

      • abu says:

        Agreed. If the required quantity of mercury is more, it can work with other liquids as well though. The concept is what matters, and that’s valid.

  2. Sure, the concept is cool – I think it’s already deployed by Mercedes with other teams also looking at it.

  3. Jimbo says:

    so you’re claiming that the mass of the mercury under 5G braking is sufficient to produce 22bar acting on the front heave unit? I’d like to know how you calculated that…

    • abu says:

      Hydrostatic pressure is a function of relative density, acceleration and the length (or height) of the piping. The difference in the hydrostatic pressure between the two fluids amounts to 22 bar, under 5g deceleration. That’s not a claim – it’s a well proven concept.

  4. John Evans says:

    Would it not be better to have a system that would hydraulically link the front and rear with cylinders that would force the rear to compress when the front does and V-V. A spring could be added anywhere to adjust. It would behave like a front to rear swaybar. Right side and left side of car would not be connected. This would allow for easy adjustment and be much lighter than a mercury system – which F1 might ban due to toxicity.

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