The suspension system of a vehicle provides the means by which forces and movements are transferred from the body to the wheels and vice versa. While the general outline of vehicle suspension behavior is fairly well known, little interest has been shown in the detailed dynamic performance of the various components. Air springs are perhaps the most versatile and adaptable type of suspension element. They provide practically frictionless action, adjustable load capacity and simplicity of height control. Initially, a vehicle suspension system with a pneumatic isolator connected to a fixed volume tank via parallel plate restrictor is considered. Here the damping is provided by the flow of air through the restricted passage which has an advantage over the conventional viscous shock absorber. Body movements are only considered to be vertical harmonic displacement. An optimization technique is applied to evaluate the optimum values of many parameters involved for which the maximum transmitted motion to the body would be minimum over the broad frequency range. Theoretical expressions for the transmissibility of the body and the wheel, optimum values of mass ratio, stiffness ratio and damping ratio are presented. Design data are presented nondimensionally for parameter variations which are sufficiently broad to encompass a wide range of practical engineering problems.

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