AP Racing constructs brake dynamometer

UK supplier AP Racing in Coventry, UK, has constructed a brake dynamometer capable of testing the discs, pads and callipers of race cars at their limit. Located at the company's headquarters, the computer-controlled dynamometer is capable of full real-time race simulations, replicating the precise forces of extreme acceleration and braking experienced by cars competing in all formulae at major circuits around the world.

AP Racing constructs brake dynamometer

The new dynamometer can also reproduce the airflow that will typically reach brake systems at different speeds, allowing engineers to optimise the shape of a car's cooling ducts. For maximum accuracy of results, the tests can be performed with the brake disc bolted to the car's standard wheel and suspension assembly.

During each race simulation, an array of sensors and cameras within the dynamometer record the constantly changing temperatures on all parts of the disc, pads and caliper. The resulting data is fed back to the dynamometer's computer, where it can be used to influence valuable changes in brake system design - tailored, where required, to individual race venues.

Powered by a 288kW motor mated to heavyweight flywheels, it is capable of running at up to 3,100 disc revolutions per minute - equivalent to race speeds of around 380 km/h (236mph), more than adequate for high-speed simulations for brakes used in F1, Champ Car and IRL.

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