A car’s aerodynamics can have a significant impact on its performance, and that’s where splitters come in. In this article, we’ll explore how splitters work to improve a car’s performance.
As a car moves through the air, the air streamlines move with high speed related to the car. These streamlines hit different parts of the car, causing them to get deflected. At the rear, there is boundary layer separation, which creates a large vacuum space. In contrast, the front experiences an increase in pressure due to Bernoulli’s principle. This principle states that the dynamic pressure of air is converted into static pressure when air particles collide and come to rest. This increase in pressure in front of the car creates suction, known as “drag.”
To prevent drag, we use a rear wing that creates high pressure at the top and low pressure at the bottom. This generates downforce and reduces drag by filling the air in the vacuum space created at the rear.
However, the rear wing can cause an unbalance of load between the front and rear of the car. Also, a large amount of air going beneath the car body can cause an increase in pressure at the bottom. To prevent this, we use a front spoiler that splits the air.
The front spoiler splits the air so that the air coming at the top of the spoiler gets collected, and its dynamic pressure is converted into static pressure. This leads to an increase in pressure at the top of the spoiler, creating a pressure difference between the top and bottom of the spoiler and generating downforce.
The amount of air going beneath the car is reduced due to the splitting off of air by the spoiler. As the amount of air at the bottom is decreased, it helps to develop more downforce.
In Formula 1 cars, the front spoiler is known as the air dam. It has side in-plates and different shapes and size wings that develop high pressure at the top and low pressure at the bottom. These wings generate downforce and create vertices that club the air and direct them along the body of the car. This helps to prevent the uneven flow of air, which causes drag.
The vertices of the air dam also help to keep the back turbulent air of the tire away from the good streamline air. This improves the pressure distribution and generates good downforce.
In conclusion, splitters are an essential component of a car’s aerodynamics, improving its performance by generating downforce and reducing drag. By splitting the air and creating pressure differences, splitters like the front spoiler and air dam prevent the uneven flow of air and create vertices that club the air and direct it along the body of the car.