Futek load cells validating suspension system performance

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)

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