Spoiler Modes Comparison for F1 Car Aerodynamics, ANSYS Fluent Training

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In this project, two different spoilers, in open and close modes are compared using CFD simulation in ANSYS Fluent software, to observe the difference between the lift and drag force between these two modes.

This product includes a Mesh file and a comprehensive Training Movie.

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The car as a moving device has always been involved with air flow, so the science of aerodynamics has helped engineers bring the best performance to the car. In recent years, the science of aerodynamics has experienced tremendous progress because in In the past, only a wing or spoiler was installed on a car to study its impact. However, today the process has become so complex that engineers spend many hours researching and developing wind tunnels and computer simulators.

One of the problems with cars at high speeds is that the lift force increases, and then the vehicle loses control. Spoilers are designed to control the passage of air through vehicles. But the precise design of this device has always been a challenge for researchers. When a car reaches speeds above 145 km / h, the spoiler can show the difference between life and death, so it is essential to simulate spoilers in computing software.


ANSYS Fluent software is one of the powerful software in simulating spoilers and, in general, simulating the lift and drag force of any device. In this project, two different spoilers, in opening and closing modes are compared using CFD simulation in Fluent software.

Project Description

Aerodynamics comes in two parts: increasing the downforce for traction and stability of the car and reducing drag or air resistance with the help of the chassis at high speeds and secondary accelerations, and aerodynamic engineers have always sought to strike the right balance between these two parameters. For example, in Formula One races, cars are allowed to use a dual-mode spoiler to reduce the lift force by opening the spoiler on straight routes, which significantly reduces drag and make the car possible to accelerates about 340 km / h. This simulation aims to compare the open and close modes of the spoiler and observe the difference between the lift and drag force between these two modes. This simulation is performed using the k-w SST turbulence model.

Geometry & Mesh

First, the geometry of the spoiler is designed in SolidWorks and design modeler software, then it is prepared to mesh generation. The geometry file is implemented in Ansys meshing software.

Close Mode Spoiler


Open Mode Spoiler


This geometry is meshed in Ansys meshing software. The elements are used first as tetrahedral and then using polyhedral mesh fluent, which has fewer cells and better quality. This mesh includes 1832373 Tetra elements for open mode and 1988126 for closed mode. Also, the number of polyhedral elements is about 450000 elements.


Mesh Quality


CFD Simulation

We consider several assumptions to simulate the present model:

  • We perform a pressure-based solver.
  • The simulation is steady.
  • The gravity effect on the fluid is ignored.

The following table represents a summary of the defining steps of the problem and its solution:

Viscous k-omega sst
k-omega model sst
Boundary conditions
Inlet Velocity Inlet
velocity magnitude 90 m/s
Outlet Pressure Outlet
gauge pressure 0 pascal
 Side symmetry
spoiler Wall
ground wall
sky symmetry
Pressure-Velocity Coupling SIMPLE
Pressure PRESTO
gradient Less squares cell based
momentum first order upwind
turbulent kinetic energy first order upwind
specific dissipation rate first order upwind
Initialization methods Standard
gauge pressure 0 Pascal
velocity 90 m.s-1
Material properties Standard
density 1.225 kg.m-3
viscosity 1.086e-6 kg.m-1.s-1


Drag (N) Lift(N) Title
Total viscous Pressure force Total viscous Pressure force
998 19 979 -1864 2 -1866 DRS- on (Open Mode)
1445 11 1434 -2557 2 -2559 DRS -off (Close Mode)


The comparison between the two modes shows that the lift force in the closed mode is about 700 Nm higher, which is the main reason for using the spoiler to make the car more stable on winding routes and momentary accelerations. On the other hand, the drag force in the open state is less than 450 Newtons, which also indicates that in cases where it is not necessary to use the downforce force, and the speed is more desirable, by opening the spoiler and using the drag reduction system, the drag force can be significantly reduced.

The results also showed that the profile with a wider angle better performs than the closed spoiler (zero degrees angle).

According to the explanations of this issue, the section of spoilers and their curvature can be studied from an aerodynamic point of view, and geometric optimization can be done.

There are a Mesh file and a comprehensive Training Movie that presents how to solve the problem and extract all desired results.


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