Issue: Mar 2018


Directing airflow for improved aerodynamics



by Nick Palmen

Röchling’s Active Air Dam (AAD) solution targets the movement of air alongside the lower front of a vehicle. Specifically, it directs air around the tires by lowering an air dam from a vehicle’s front end.

The speed at which the technology deploys can be customized by the customer to when a vehicle will benefit the most. To avoid damage caused from contact with obstacles, as well as discrete styling, the AAD retracts as the vehicle reduces speed. During wind-tunnel testing, the technology has shown measurable improvements in fuel consumption and emissions by decreasing drag between 10-20 counts.

This makes the solution very advantageous to OEMs which are launching more SUVs to meet consumer demand, and can even be used to enhance existing air dams. Another aerodynamic advanced solution developed by Röchling to help OEMs lower fuel consumption and emissions is its range of Active Grille Shutters (AGS). The company was the first supplier to market with AGS products, which effectively reduce vehicle drag by closing the grille vanes when radiator cooling is not needed.

This results in optimum airflow around the vehicle, increases engine warming time and reduces noise, especially during cold starts. AGS systems can reduce drag a maximum of 25 aerodynamic points, the equivalent to an emissions savings of up to three grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer.

Since vehicle aesthetics are important to automakers and consumers alike, Röchling has made it a focus of their design decisions by introducing the Ambient AGS system to provide a more visually appealing solution. The Ambient AGS system features LEDs that spread non-intrusive light across the active grille shutters to give them a stylish appearance. The company has made the technology more attractive to OEMs by offering flexibility with cost-efficient individualization options.

The Ambient AGS system is not the only AGS system Röchling developed with manufacturers in mind. To allow more automakers the opportunity to incorporate AGS without impacting vehicle design or taking up added space, the company introduced the Active Air Blind AGS system. The slimline Active Air Blind system can fit into tight vehicle spaces with only a 16-millimeter depth, while still delivering exceptional air blockage when its shutters are closed.

Traditional AGS systems are usually 40- 50 millimeters. Moreover, the thin AGS technology is extremely versatile, as it is highly modular and can be customized for different cooling packs and carlines.



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