TRW Automotive is exhibiting a new, lightweight radius rod for trucks at the IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Hanover, today. Compared to previous designs, the new radius rod is up to 30 percent lighter and has also been cost optimized for vehicle manufacturers.
Dr. Cengiz Erdogan, head of engineering for Commercial Vehicle Linkage & Suspension Europe at TRW commented: “Lightweighting is becoming increasingly important as vehicle manufacturers are facing tougher fuel economy targets and emissions standards in the years to come. Technologies used in vehicle construction – as well as the materials used – are coming under close scrutiny. We are exploring alternative designs concepts as a method of reducing weight.
“This was a particular challenge with the development of the torsion rod as the potential for improving the conventional radius rod design, which has already been in production for several decades, is limited. The key for further improvements was the functional integration of cardanic elements from the rubber bushing into the connecting elements between the two housings. Therefore, we re-designed the tube component which now utilizes two inverted, C-shaped pieces of metal which are welded to the housings.
“The torsion rod also offers the benefit of being interchangeable as the connecting geometry of the current design and the new lightweight design is exactly the same – parts are interchangeable for most customer vehicles without modifications.”
TRW is working on a development contract with a major European truck manufacturer and expects that the new radius rod will be ready for production near the end of 2016.