Morphing car body surfaces made of rubber for active aerodynamics control
Louis Reuvekamp, Apollo Tyres Global R&D BV
The actual challenge for car developers is to improve the car handling combined with a reduction of CO2 emission. It is well known that car handling can be improved by increasing the down-force acting on the car. This can be optimised by optimizing the surface of the car body with respect to aerodynamics. However, generally speaking it will increase the air resistance and therefor the fuel consumption. The solution are active spoilering systems which can be adjusted in a well-controlled way. Because of its mechanical dynamic elastic properties rubber is the ideal material for car body surfaces which can be deformed actively during the ride.
An active front spoiler is presented. The outside surface of the spoiler is made of rubber. Deforming the outside surface is done by means of inflating air bellows. As soon as the inflation pressure of the air bellows reduces, the rubber surface will return to its original shape by means of rubber elasticity. The presentation will focus on rubber technological issues to be solved during the development process.