Browse Publications Technical Papers 2002-01-3346

Development of a New Software for Racecar Suspension Kinematics 2002-01-3346

In the racecar design process the definition of suspension type and geometry is an important stage. A good design of the main parameters, in terms of static and dynamic angles in bump and steer, is the basis of a successful racecar quite often.
This paper aims at introducing the development of a new software tool, called MLKrace, that can analyse the suspensions kinematics for a wide range of different layouts.
There are today a lot of commercial tools that analyse or simulate suspension behaviour. In general their application is restricted to the classic double wishbone suspension and in this case the calculation of the kinematics is not so difficult. This layout is used on both ends of the majority of formula and sports race cars but it isn’t the only possible one.
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The MLKrace software is instead more suitable to analyse innovative suspension geometries, the mathematics being based on the resolution of the so-called Stewart platform, a method originally devised for parallel robot kinematics. Therefore full multilink or hybrid systems can be designed as easily as a double wishbone. In addition push rod, pull rod or outboard spring systems can be added and the driveshaft required float is computed. Multilink-McPherson hybrid suspensions can be designed as well. The flexibility is the great advantage of this new software.
Apart from the mathematic model, a massive effort was devoted to the design of the Windows interface with the aim of making the designer’s job particularly easy and effective compared to outdated MS-Dos interfaces of most of the existing software. The output is shown in the form of 2D and 3D animations, a large number of predefined diagrams, numeric tables and regression functions.


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