Physics at work
Racecar Engineering|December 2021
Dutch company, Intrax, offers Racecar Engineering an insight into the technologies it employs to optimise its suspension products
Stewart Mitchell

In the realm of vehicle dynamics, the spring and damper system plays a significant role in compliance on track. It controls the relative motion between the sprung and unsprung masses, and is arguably the most critical influence on tyre performance.

However, not all spring and damper systems are created equal, and in this domain of racecar engineering, there is a margin for applying philosophy to the science of suspension.

Enter Intrax, a Dutch manufacturer of high-performance suspension technology with over 40 years' experience at the highest level of motorsport. Intrax designs and manufactures suspension products for everything from Formula 1 to road car applications in its purpose-built factory.

'Intrax's policy is to design, manufacture and race engineer the suspension system bespoke for each customer and application, because the challenges of controlling the relative movement between the wheels and the car cannot be considered standard for a given vehicle, or a given situation, explains Niek van Sambeek, co-owner and suspension engineer at Intrax.

'By doing that, Intrax can significantly reduce the number and severity of the compromises involved in implementing racing suspension systems. Custom tailoring the suspension to the application vastly improves performance over standardised components and installations!

Design philosophy

Intrax's design philosophy revolves around using the softest possible spring to maintain grip and compliance between the tyre and the road, and then engineering the damper to reduce body roll as much as possible. For this, it combines calculations for wheel frequency, damping ratio and weight transfer, and optimises all of this into construction before manufacture.

Technologies include developing gas pressurised monotube dampers and unique, in house-designed pistons, valves and low friction coatings for each build.

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