Originally manufactured for race and high-performance sports cars, a front spoiler is integrated into the front bumper of a vehicle and is aerodynamically designed to increase down-force — the weight caused by air pressure moving over a car’s surface — on the car for better performance and road grip. Now standard in most vehicles, the front spoiler is typically a non-pneumatic, fixed part.
Here, we will discuss an innovative, variable controlled pneumatic front spoiler system, the challenges faced by the manufacturer, and the solution that led to the successful development and on-time launch.
New inflatable front spoiler system
An innovative pneumatically operated inflatable front spoiler system was developed for luxury sports vehicles. The aim? Simple, to improve performance and handling. The spoiler lip is electronically controlled to adjust to the speed of the vehicle, deploying as speed increases. The system includes several air chambers behind the spoiler altering in capacity to give the desired shape. At low speeds, the spoiler retracts beneath the bumper to ensure maximum ground clearance, allowing the car to pass over speed bumps and other uneven surfaces. At higher speeds, the spoiler extends on the outside to optimize airflow around the wheels and reduce fuel consumption. In the performance position, the spoiler fully extends to create extra downforce on the front wheels. This new system provides:
The correct amount of downforce for the speed of the vehicle
Better performance and road grip
Improved fuel efficiency
As space was serious engineering consideration, a compact pneumatic connection was a fundamental requirement for the spoiler system to operate properly. Other technical requirements included the performance at a working temperature from -20°C to 80°C, and a working pressure of 20 bar for the pneumatic compressed air conveying components. Additionally, with manufacturing facilities located in several countries, parts and support needed to be sourced on a global basis.
After reviewing several options, the manufacturer selected Parker LF 3000® compact push-in pneumatic fittings and polyurethane tubing.
Why Parker compact fittings and flexible tubing?
LF 3000 fittings are the most compact fittings available on the market. Additional features that made the LF 3000 fittings a good match for the application include:
- Pressure: Vacuum to 20 bar
- Working temperature from -20°C to +80°C
- Meet ISO 14743, DI: 97/23/EC, DI: 2002/95/EC (RoHS), 2011/65/EC, and DI: 1907/2006 (REACH)
- Automatic sealing in dynamic applications
The flexibility of Parker’s polyurethane tubing provided a solution allowing for up to 50% space reduction when compared to semi-rigid PA tubing. Additional features include:
Consistent tensile strength
Optimal bend radius
Abrasion resistance for a single layer tubing
Working temperature range of -20°C to +70°C
Meets DI: 2002/95/EC (RoHS), 2011/65/EC, DI: 97/23/EC (PED), RG: 1907/2006 (REACH)
Global sourcing and communication were other requirements of the project. With locations in 50 countries, and a distribution network extending to 13,000 locations, Parker was selected because of its global reach. Parker was able to follow the project across different countries, conduct in-person meetings, deliver technical presentations, and provide global engineering support.
After extensive testing by the vehicle manufacturer, this innovative, variably controlled pneumatic front end spoiler lip system was successfully developed and recently launched within the project time frame.
For more information on Parker Compact Pneumatic Fittings, view the product data sheet, or locate a distributor. To learn more about Parker Polyurethane Tubing, view the product data sheet or locate a distributor
This post was contributed by Laurent Langlais, e-business, new services marketing communications manager at Parker Fluid Systems Connectors Division, Europe.