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Another tech-related development, this time on the anti-roll front. Seems braking and chassis systems specialist BWI Group has developed a lightweight, more compact version of its proven Active Stabiliser Bar System (ASBS), and the new development is set to make the many benefits of active roll control available to a far wider range of vehicles.

Originally developed for large SUVs, the technology reduces the compromise between sharp handling and ride quality. Advances in the systems’ actuators and optimisation of other components has translated into a reduced weight of 15%, which means the system can meet the package constraints and weight targets of smaller cars, including sports cars and smaller SUVs.

The BWI Active Stabiliser Bar splits the anti-roll bar in the middle and uses a computer-controlled actuator (graphic below) to apply variable levels of torque to the ends of each section. When cornering, the system applies an anti-roll torque, opposed to the lateral acceleration, which limits body roll.

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When subject to road disturbances, the system has the ability to apply a torque opposed to the one generated by the springs and dampers, thus limiting head-toss. This gives the benefits of stiff, large diameter bars without the normal compromise in comfort and refinement.

Because ASBS can deal with all the vehicle roll angle and roll velocity inputs, leaving the springs and dampers to deal just with vertical inputs, it helps eliminate the traditional compromise between ride and handling. The system is able to modify the understeer or oversteer behaviour of vehicles near-instantaneously. With a range of linear and rotary actuators with single or twin channel operation, systems are available for a wide variety of applications.

The company has developed a new rotary actuator that will go into production on an SUV in 2012, while a high-performance sports car with an active stabiliser bar system is due to start production later this year, using BWI’s linear actuator. Current users of BWI’s ASBS include Land Rover – the Range Rover Sport uses ASBS actuators and hydraulic control modules.