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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 98
Edited by: J. Pombo
Paper 185

Application of Different Control Techniques to Railway Semi-Active Suspension Systems

B. Allotta1, L. Pugi1, V. Colla2, F. Bartolini1 and F. Cangioli1

1Dipartimento di Energetica "S. Stecco", Facoltá di Ingegneria, Universitá di Firenze, Italy
2PERCRO-CEIICP, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Polo Sant'Anna Valdera, Pisa, Italy

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
B. Allotta, L. Pugi, V. Colla, F. Bartolini, F. Cangioli, "Application of Different Control Techniques to Railway Semi-Active Suspension Systems", in J. Pombo, (Editor), "Proceedings of the First International Conference on Railway Technology: Research, Development and Maintenance", Civil-Comp Press, Stirlingshire, UK, Paper 185, 2012. doi:10.4203/ccp.98.185
Keywords: magneto-rheological dampers, semi-active suspension system, gradient projection method.

High speed technology may benefit from the acquisition of smart know-how from the automotive and aerospace sectors. In particular, in the automotive sector the application of semi-active magneto-rheological (M-R) dampers has been successfully tested. Application of M-R technology and more generally of semi-active systems on rail systems is documented and it is still confined to a limited number of known examples. However there is a growing interest in this kind of solution which represents a good trade-off between the performance of fully active systems and the reliability assured by passive ones.

In this paper some benchmark cases are proposed and used to verify how different control approaches lead to different results both in terms of robustness and performance. The application of controlled dampers to the secondary suspension stage of a railway vehicle has been used as a benchmark to verify the performance of different control techniques. Centralized control system seems perform better especially when different control approaches are applied in a synergic way. On the other hand SISO controllers such as the Sky-Hook damper are much simpler to implement and exhibit a very robust behaviour. In both cases the achieved results are quite attractive.

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