Tinsley Bridge has joined forces with Performance Engineered Solutions (PES) and the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) to develop a revolutionary high performance composite metal hybrid stabiliser bar for trucks and trains with less than half the weight of current products.
Carbon fibre composites are not yet widely used in the volume automotive sector for functional parts such as suspension systems, but replacing steel with lightweight composites can improve fuel efficiency, helping truck operators meet new emissions regulations. Lighter vehicles are also in demand for niche markets including emergency services and defence.
Analysis by composite experts found that Tinsley Bridge could reduce the weight of a stabiliser bar by over 50% by replacing the standard solid steel component with a hollow tube of carbon fibre composites, without compromising performance. And because composite materials are less affected by fatigue, their use can also provide increased durability.
AMRC & PES engineers are providing expertise to support Tinsley Bridge engineers in composite design for manufacture, using techniques such as Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to ensure the bar has the required mechanical strength. The Innovate UK Catapult Centre is also providing access to its production facilities, including an automated filament-winding robot, machining centre and autoclave oven, to manufacture the prototype bars.
UltraStrength 220 is an innovative material technology developed to operate at higher loads, reduce weight and increase durability for high stress defence, road and rail applications.
Our engineers worked with the Materials and Engineering Research Institute (MERI) at Sheffield Hallam University to develop an innovative new microstructure achieved by nano technology changes in heat treatment processing.
The properties of UltraStrength 220 material have been designed to provide extreme high strength capability, combined with the high levels of ductility and toughness necessary to operate in demanding environments.
In fatigue tests of full size suspension components, Tinsley Bridge has been able to demonstrate the following vehicle performance benefits:
- Increased load capacity whilst maintaining durability.
- Improved off-road performance by improving ground clearance and increased relaxation resistance.
- Improved fatigue durability – in some cases more than double the life.
Extralite™ technology incorporates a unique high strength raw material and special manufacturing processing. It has a proven capability and can be heat-treated to higher strength levels without the reduction in ductility associated with conventional spring steels.
Extralite™ can achieve increased load and elevated yield capabilities for use in high stress designs of torsion bars, stabiliser bars and anti roll bars. Alternatively, the use of Extralite™ extends the durability of an existing design by up to 100%.
The technology is well proven in both heavy commercial vehicle and specialist defence applications, having passed tests in numerous vehicle sign-off validation programmes and by high volume supply to global OEM vehicle manufacturers. Extralite™ offers increased performance at a competitive cost and with the flexible lead times required by automotive industry standards.
Our innovative Extralite™ torsion bar upgrade for the Warrior & CVR(T) defence vehicles met an urgent operational requirement for the Ministry of Defence. The Extralite™ torsion bar helped achieve a significant improvement in suspension performance, and the Tinsley Bridge contribution was widely recognised by UK Government ministers, the British Army and in industry innovation awards.