Actuators with gears for active aerodynamics: Stagnoli drives the new era

3 October 2022

In a modern sports or competition car, active aerodynamics play a fundamental role. Active aerodynamics are a set of motorized parts that come into play, change shape, height or inclination to balance the trade-off between efficiency and downforce in a particular driving situation. The most common active aerodynamic features include:

  1. An active front grille that responds to the cooling needs of the engine, electric motor or battery behind it. This system generally consists of fins moved by an actuator.
    At lower speeds, the motor or electrical components are generally less stressed and require minimal cooling. As a result, the active grille is in the closed position, and the closed surface improves aerodynamics.
    At higher speeds, or in situations where components are under higher load, the fins or vanes open to ensure that the right amount of air can pass through and provide the necessary cooling.

  2. Active splitters work to increase the downforce applied to the front of the car, helping push the wheels down onto the asphalt and provide more grip.
    In most cases, an active front splitter actually forms a part of the car’s front bumper, connected by a series of actuators. When required (typically at higher speeds, where greater downforce offers greater dynamic benefits), these actuators are able to extend the front bumper under the rest of the bodywork, increasing the downforce applied via the ground effect. 

  3. A spoiler, by being able to exploit the different inclinations of its flap, is able to accentuate the aerodynamic load so as to improve stability in high-speed cornering, or reduce the load and, above all, air resistance so as to make the most of acceleration and the maximum speed of the car. Similarly, the spoiler can also be raised entirely, significantly increasing the downforce and aerodynamic resistance, to act as a brake assisting normal hydraulic brakes.

Such changes in profile are generally automated or controlled from inside the car via a button, and are powered by hydraulic or pneumatic actuators.


actuators gears for active aerodynamics

Design and manufacture of actuators with technopolymer gears for the automotive sector: Stagnoli, leader in the market

Quality, know-how and technological development have allowed Stagnoli to position itself with great competence and competitiveness in this slice of the market, designing and manufacturing actuators with technopolymer gears that form the basis for the movement of active moving parts.

For each type of application, Stagnoli carefully chooses the most suitable technopolymer, paying particular attention to the specific operating conditions (stresses, operating temperatures, the environment in which the gears have to work). We have carried out a range of mechanical resistance analyses according to VDI2736 guidelines. Furthermore, using the software KissSoft, we have optimized the teeth of our technopolymer gears for active aerodynamics, with corrections and measures to improve meshing and wear resistance. Between our designers and car engineers there has always been a close collaboration, guaranteeing excellent results, and the passing of all tests.

Want to put in a request for gear actuator design and manufacture for the automotive sector? Contact us and let’s start a project together right away.