DLR - Suspension arm construction


IFR Automotive’s major innovation in suspension systems is a lightweight suspension arm extruded from aluminium tube with an elliptical cross-sectional profile incorporating two reinforcement cords running throughout the extrusion.

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The special profile provides immense stiffness and rigidity in all directions helping to minimise stresses under torsional, longitudinal and vertical bending loads.

 
Maximum Stress (Mpa)
 
Torsion
Longitudinal Bending
Vertical Bending
DLR
71
58
85
Conventional tube
195
237
237



The elliptical form also provides a more efficient aerodynamic form.

In addition, the special profile and internal cords provide an ideal socket to receive an aluminium end piece, which is then TIG welded to the suspension arm. Ample contact between the internal mating surfaces helps minimise any mechanical loading on the weld and guarantees an efficient join.

An all-steel housing for the ball joint can then be simply bolted into the internal thread of the aluminium end piece. The overall design ensures the transition from aluminium to steel is extremely robust, making sure the steel ball-joint is housed in a steel bearing.

This efficient design eliminates the reliability issues normally associated with a ball-joint operating directly in an aluminium housing. Overall, the design provides significant weight and stiffness benefits compared with current solutions for road and race cars.

And when the ball joint needs replacing, with normal wear and tear, for ease of maintenance it is a simple matter to unbolt and replace the aluminium end pieces.

Summary of benefits

  • Improved vehicle handling and steering feel
  • Improved mechanical grip and traction
  • Better fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions
  • Reliability and ease of maintenance