Next-gen wheel force transducer developed for motorsport


In motorsport, tyre manufacturers and teams need to understand tyre behaviour throughout its lifetime to ensure driver safety, as well as to maximise performance, taking account of external influences such as track temperature, weather conditions, speed and aerodynamics. In response the Kistler Group has developed the RoaDyn Racing WFT, a wheel-force transducer that can accurately measure forces and moments acting on the wheel in motorsport applications. The resulting measurements can helps tyre manufacturers and racing teams understand tyre behaviour and avoid issues such as overheating or blistering.

The transducer is especially suited for racing cars as it captures forces acting on the wheel, which is needed to determine tyre load and estimate wear. Jim Vaughan, sales director for vehicle testing at Kistler, explained, “With this data, motorsports teams are able to develop a reliable tyre model and assess the tyre’s dynamic behaviour. They can use the WFT data to run accurate real-time ‘driver in the loop’ simulations and to validate tyre performance and degradation models.”

The RoaDyn Racing WFT features a modular design. The core components are proven, temperature-compensated strain gauge load cells for precise measuring results, combined with battery power and integrated data storage.

“We eliminated the requirement for an external stator by implementing an integrated angle encoder – that’s an important consideration for open-wheeled race cars, because it avoids any aerodynamic impact,” Vaughan added.

Available in lightweight magnesium or aluminium versions, the RoaDyn Racing WFT has undergone extensive cornering fatigue testing with over two million load cycles. In addition, the WFT was validated on a tyre testing machine at speeds of up to 250km/h with a reference multicomponent measuring hub from Kistler (Type P530) and in real test situations with a Formula E racing car on the circuit to ensure high performance and driver safety.

The next step for Kistler is that the modular design of the transducer paves the way for future developments ranging from further race series to road-going performance cars.

The RoaDyn Racing WFT wheel force transducer was validated on a tyre testing machine with the Kistler P530 multicomponent measuring hub

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Adam divides his time as an editor between the worlds of aviation and motoring. These worlds may seem a little diverse today, but autonomous technology and future urban mobility is bringing them ever-closer. Adam is also chairman of the Vehicle Dynamics International Awards.

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