Speaker Interviews

Discover more about the topics and technologies to be discussed at this year's conference, via a series of exclusive interviews with a selection of our expert speakers

There’s more to damper tuning than static behavior

Jonas Jarlmark Näfver, manager for vehicle dynamics at Öhlins Racing AB, urges engineers to look beyond static damper behavior.

What is the background to your workshop?

There is a tendency among engineers to view dampers in an idealized way when working on the overall setup. We often find customers using the static force-velocity curve as the only relevant piece of information regarding the damper. This means they disregard some important details that make the difference between a high-performance damper and a less efficient design, like the dynamic behavior. This tendency to view static dyno data as the absolute truth and only perspective is prevalent, even among engineers working on full-vehicle simulations.

What are the main factors to consider when tuning dampers for dynamic response?

The main thing is to establish what the driver, the vehicle and the tires need individually in terms of both statics and dynamics and then try to tailor the damper behavior to achieve the best compromise. Often, we see way too much emphasis on statics. The dynamic response is where some damper makes or models will distinguish themselves from others, despite following the same static force-velocity curve.

It’s true that most dynamic response properties are locked into the design of the damper or closely connected to and determined by the choice of the static curves. As such, they can be difficult to alter, but that shouldn’t stop engineers from trying, as it can make a big difference.

What will be the main takeaway for people who attend your workshop?

They will most likely come to realize that there are more things to consider than a mere static force-velocity curve or a single performance index from a shaker rig. They will learn to dig deeper for more data on dampers and understand why they need it. I hope they’ll come away with some new ideas on how to improve performance.

Catch Jonas’s free-to-attend workshop From click to performance – damper dynamics and static damper graphs on the second day of Professional MotorSport World Expo. View the full program here.

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Future show: Professional MotorSport World Expo, November 10, 11, 12, 2021, Hall 10.1, Cologne, Germany