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Technical Paper

Lightweight Design of a Racing Motorcycle Wheel

Mass minimization is a key objective for the design of racing motorcycle wheels. The structural optimization of a front motorcycle wheel is presented in the paper. Topology Optimization has been employed for deriving optimized structural layouts. The minimum compliance problem has been solved, symmetry and periodicity constraints have been introduced. The wheel has been optimized by considering several loading conditions. Actual loads have been measured during track tests by means of a special measuring wheel. The forces applied by the tire to the rim have been introduced in an original way. Different solutions characterized by different numbers of spokes have been analyzed and compared. The actual racing wheel has been further optimized accounting for technological constraints and the mass has been reduced down to 2.9 kilograms.
Technical Paper

Evolution of the Ride Comfort of Alfa Romeo Cars since 1955 until 2005

The ride comfort of three Alfa Romeo cars, namely Giulietta (1955), Alfetta (1972) and 159 (2005) has been assessed both objectively and subjectively. The three cars belong to the same market segment. The aim is to let young engineers or graduate students understand how technology has evolved and eventually learn a lesson from the assessed trend. A number of cleats have been fixed at the ground and the three cars have traversed such uneven surface. The objective assessment of the ride comfort has been performed by means of accelerometers fixed at the seat rails, additionally a special dummy developed at Politecnico di Milano has been employed. The subjective assessment has been performed by a panel of passengers. The match between objective and subjective ratings is very good. Simple mathematical models have been employed to establish a (successful) comparison between experimental and computational results. The ride comfort differs substantially among the cars.
Technical Paper

Suspension Systems: Some New Analytical Formulas for Describing the Dynamic Behavior

The paper presents some new and unreferenced analytical formulae describing the dynamic behaviour of the suspension system of road or off-road vehicles. The quarter car model (2 degrees of freedom) is considered, the suspension can be either passive or active. Passive suspensions can be simplified as the spring-damper combination or the spring-damper combination with an additional in series spring (representing, e.g., the rubber bushing at the top of a McPherson strut or the rubber bushing at the end joints of the damper). The mathematical system is linear and the excitation is given by a random stationary and ergodic process. The standard deviations in analytical form are given referring to, respectively, the vehicle body acceleration, the relative displacement between sprung and unsprung mass, and the force at the ground. The so called invariant points of the frequency response functions are derived for both active and passive suspension.