How a shock absorber works

OE Twini-tube technology

In the manufacture of its shock absorbers, Gabriel ONLY uses the more resistant twin-tube technology which adheres to OE fitment.

As the name implies, in a twin-tube shock absorber, there are two actual tubes. One forms the outer body of the shock absorber and the other is a cylinder inside in which the piston moves. Tiny holes or orifices in the piston as well as special valves between the inner and outer tubes restrict the flow of oil to control wheel motion.

Gabriel manufactures hydraulic shock absorbers (which utilise oil) and gas shock absorbers (which utilise gas).

Rather than actually absorbing shocks, the real purpose of the shock absorber is to keep the wheels of the car in contact with the road, and dampen the spring movement. This is accomplished by the scientific principle of transference. The energy created by the spring is transferred to a piston in chamber that is filled with oil and the energy gets dissipated into heat form.

The twin-tube system represents the basic design of a modern shock absorber. The piston rod (1) and protective tube are fixed via the mounting flange to the car body. The cylinder (2) is fixed to the wheel suspension. The inner tube (3) contains the working chamber in which the piston moves up and down. The compensating chamber (4), between the inner and the outer tube, is partially filled with oil and air and contains the extruded oil volume caused by the piston rod when moving downwards. Valves, fitted in the plunger, control the oil flow at different rates. As the plunger moves upwards, oil is sucked back out of the compensating chamber through the base valve (5). The twin-tube shock absorber has to be installed with the plunger rod at the top, as otherwise air would be drawn out of the compensating chamber, which would cause the oil to foam and the damping to fail!

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