Because the characteristics of rubber bushing significantly affect the accuracy of vehicle dynamics simulations, they should be accurately modeled in the vehicle suspension model. In this paper, a new nonlinear bushing model for automotive bushing components is developed to improve the accuracy of vehicle dynamics analysis. Bushing components were first tested to capture the nonlinear and hysteretic behavior of typical elements by using a MTS 3-axis elastomer tester. A simple Bouc-Wen hysteretic differential model was modified to generate a more precise rubber bushing model. A sine wave, step input, and random excitations are imposed on the bushing. The ADAMS program is used to calculate sensitivity and the VisualDOC program is employed to find the optimal parameters for the bushing model. An error function is designed to find optimal parameters of the model. Parameter identification is carried out to satisfy the static and dynamic characteristics due to sine and step excitation inputs. It was proved that the proposed model could predict the bushing forces under sine, step, and random inputs well. The errors are within 10% in the overall range. To show the validity of the proposed model, a numerical example was also carried out. Because the bushing forces due to random excitation input show good agreement with experiments, the proposed bushing model is available in the vehicle dynamics simulation.
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