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Futek load cells validating suspension system performance

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article image Conceptual diagram showing LCM Series load cells threaded in-line with the suspension arms in the vehicle

The suspension system in high performance cars not only holds up the vehicle but also adapts to aerodynamic forces on the vehicle such as varying road conditions and driver inputs. Modelling and simulation are undertaken for these variables in NASCAR and Formula 1 cars to ensure compliance of the complex multipoint suspension systems under load.

Live testing is conducted to validate the simulation model, a process that involves placing load cells in line with each suspension arm on the vehicle. This provides detailed information of the load running through each arm, accurate steering load measurements, and indirect front tyre grip, enabling the suspension system to be adjusted to optimise performance and handling.

Futek load cells are threaded in-line with each of the suspension arms in the vehicle. It is critical to study the load path to avoid any side load. As the vehicle is operated on a test stand or is driven, the output signal is sent to the USB220 USB output module, as depicted in the conceptual diagram. The USB displays and logs data to a PC via Futek's SENSIT software. The captured data can then be used to validate and fine-tune the performance of the suspension system.

Products in use include: LCM Series miniature inline load cells; LCB Series rod end tension and compression load cells; USB220 high resolution USB output module; and QLA307 custom low profile load washer.

Futek Advanced Sensor Technology, Inc. is represented in Australia and New Zealand by Metromatics .

For more information, please visit the Metromatics website www.metromatics.com.au or call (07) 3868-4255.

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