Stabiliser Bar Optimisation

In a race car, an adjustable stabiliser bar allows the driver to alter the roll stiffness of the car from the cockpit, greatly affecting the car’s handling.

In this example, the driver was complaining of very little change in roll stiffness from the first few notches of adjustment, then a huge increase in stiffness from the last two notches, effectively giving him an all or nothing adjustment range.

As illustrated on below, flexible ‘blades’ on either end of the stabiliser bar rotate through 90° to provide the adjustment that governs the overall stiffness of the stabiliser bar and ultimately the vehicle roll stiffness. The original blade was found to result in a highly non linear stiffness through the 7 adjustment positions as you can see in the graph below.

Stabiliser Bar Optimisation
Stabiliser Bar Optimisation results

An ideal stiffness curve was developed and topology optimisation was used to generate a blade cross section that would match the ideal stiffness profile. You can see the T shape of the optimised cross section on the right, along with the resulting stiffness curve which is much more linear than that of the original blade. The end result was a driver with much better control over the car’s roll stiffness and the car itself.