Monday, May 10, 2021

Better aerodynamics - Bugatti Bolide with Dimple Airscoop

Reading time approx. 5 Minutes

06a bugatti bolide dimple airscoop Better aerodynamics Bugatti bolide with dimple airscoop

With the Bugatti bolide The French luxury car manufacturer presented an extreme technological concept a few weeks ago. A vehicle developed only around the iconic 8,0-liter W16 with 1.850 hp and 1.240 kilograms. This ensures an unbelievable power-to-weight ratio of 0,67 kg / PS, a top speed of well over 500 km / h, perfect handling and maximum agility.

Bugatti Bolide with Dimple Airscoop

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The hyper sports car is also full of technological innovations. One of them: the Dimple Airscoop. A new technology that Nils Ballerstein submitted to the patent office as a protection application a few weeks ago. Since the beginning of 2020, the engineer has been developing this special morphable outer skin as a doctoral student in the field of new technologies at Bugatti, which is being used for the first time on the Bugatti Bolide. The idea for his invention came to him in 2019 during his master's thesis. At Bugatti, the young engineer was researching new 3D-printed brake calipers made of titanium, through which water flows inside and is thereby cooled. He uses a dimple pattern inside the channels to improve heat transfer and thus to dissipate heat more quickly. Similar to a golf ball, the round dents in the boundary layer produce turbulence. The result: the fluid mixes better in the channels - the temperature in the brake calliper drops. "The results of the surface samples surprised me positively. I then considered whether this effect could also be repeated with air flowing around it“, Says Ballerstein.

Effect like a golf ball

Even non-scientists know the effect of golf balls: Its dimples minimize air resistance so much that it flies around twice as far with the same impact force as an identical golf ball without. The reason here too: Thanks to the dimple, turbulence occurs on the surface of the golf ball, so that the air adheres better to the surface, which reduces the eddy current in the slipstream of the ball and thus the resistance.

Nils Ballerstein simulates test bodies with dimple patterns to create facts for his idea. After completing his master's thesis, he stayed with Bugatti, while doing his doctorate at the Institute for Aircraft and Lightweight Construction at the TU Braunschweig. He sees the Bolide project as an ideal vehicle to further advance his idea. "Everything about the bolide is extraordinary and extreme. With the Dimple, the already excellent aerodynamics are further improved, increasing agility and efficiency“, Explains Frank Götzke, Head of Advance Development and New Technologies at Bugatti.

The variable and morphable outer skin of the intake hood on the roof is a world first. This offers an active flow optimization: When driving slowly, the surface of the scoop remains smooth, when driving fast, a field of dimple bulges out. The 60 individual elements extend up to 10 millimeters depending on the speed - if it is advantageous for the driving situation. From around 80 km / h air resistance is the dominant driving resistance, from around 120 km / h the dimple significantly improves the vehicle's aerodynamics and thus reduces its driving resistance. As with a golf ball, the pattern then creates a more turbulent boundary layer, which means that the air flowing around it adheres to the surface for longer and only comes off later. This reduces detachments and recirculation areas, so that the cW-Value of vehicles is falling. In order to react quickly to changes in speed, the Dimple, such as the active rear wing of the Veyron and Chiron, extend and retract very quickly within tenths of a second.

Ten percent less resistance

06b bugatti bolide dimple airscoop Better aerodynamics Bugatti bolide with dimple airscoop

The result: With the dimple, the air resistance of the hood is reduced by 10 percent and ensures a 17 percent lower lift4, in addition, the flow to the rear wing is optimized; at 320 km / h the downforce on the rear wing is 1.800 kilograms and on the front wing it is 800 kilograms4. Another advantage: With the lower air resistance, the vehicle's fuel and energy consumption also decrease. “This is why the new technology is of fundamental importance for vehicles, not just for Bugatti,” explains Nils Ballerstein. With the flow optimization, energy can be saved in all vehicles. "We are still in the development phase, but the tests so far show that the dimple improve aerodynamics and thus reduce air resistance and thus increase efficiency“, Explains Nils Ballerstein.

"The Bugatti Bolide is indisputably the absolute pinnacle of internal combustion engine-based automotive engineering. In addition to the unique combination of 1.850 hp and 1.240 kilograms of dry weight, it is above all the multitude of technical innovations that define the concept of the racetrack-ready hyper sports car, and Bugatti has stood for this consistently impressive level of innovation for more than 110 years“, Says Frank Götzke.

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Bugatti Bolide with Dimple Airscoop

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