British team developing lightweight composite suspension components

Colin Barnett
June 14, 2019

A British team is currently working on the development of new light-weight composite truck anti-roll bars. The increasing impact of more safety, emissions and comfort equipment on modern trucks has seen a significant rise in their weight, with an eight-tonne tractor unit not uncommon, and a corresponding loss of payload potential.

Sheffield’s Tinsley Bridge Ltd, whose client list for anti-roll and stabiliser bars includes the Volvo Group and Iveco, is partnered on the project by engineering designers Performance Engineered Solutions (PES) Ltd and the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC). The project is co-funded by the UK's innovation agency, Innovate UK.

PES Performance is leading the design and engineering, while the AMRC is producing the prototypes bars using a technique where glass and carbon-fibre filaments ae wound onto a mandrel to create the shape.

The project is now into its second phase, the first having achieved a significant 65% reduction in the weight of the stabiliser bar by replacing the current solid steel component with a carbon fibre composite member. This phase is concentrating on keeping that weight reduction while maintaining performance and durability.

Tinsley Bridge project manager, Russell Crow says “The targeted application of composite materials in automotive and rail applications has the potential to form the basis of a new era of vehicles. Significant weight reduction can be achieved by redesigning structural and safety-critical components to maximise their performance when manufactured from non-traditional materials.”

About the Author


Colin Barnett

Colin Barnett has been involved in the road transport industry since becoming an apprentice truck mechanic and worked on Commercial Motor for 27 years

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