Kistler releases motorsport-specific wheel force transducer

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Kistler Group says it has added a dedicated wheel force transducer for motorsport applications to its portfolio of measuring solutions. The transducer is designated the RoaDyn Racing WFT, and the company says that it accurately measures forces and moments acting on the wheel. This data can then be used to help tire manufacturers and racing teams understand tire behavior, which in turn allows for the refinement of tools such as tire models.

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

The transducer features a modular design that Kistler notes is based around 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. Knowing that motorsport is always a high-pressure environment, the developers at Kistler prioritized fast setup and convenient operation as key features of the system.

The RoaDyn Racing WFT is available in lightweight magnesium or aluminum versions, and Kistler says it has undergone extensive cornering fatigue testing with over two million load cycles. In addition, the transducer has been validated on a tire 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 car on track.

The new transducer’s modular design also paves the way for future developments including use on roadgoing performance cars. Vaughan concluded, “With the RoaDyn Racing WFT from Kistler, developers now have a tool that is certain to improve their understanding of high-performance tires in the future.”

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he oversees Automotive Powertrain Technology International and Professional Motorsport World magazines as editor.

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