shock absorber

shock absorber

Device for controlling unwanted motion of a spring-mounted vehicle. On an automobile, the springs act as a cushion between the axles and the body and reduce the shocks produced by a rough road surface. Since some combinations of road surface and car speed may result in excessive up-and-down motion of the car body, shock absorbers—which today are hydraulic devices that oppose both compression and stretching of the springs—slow down and reduce the magnitude of these vibratory motions. See also damping.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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