A study of spin effects on tennis ball aerodynamics

Alam, F, Subic, A, Naser, J, Rasul, M and Khan, M 2008, 'A study of spin effects on tennis ball aerodynamics', WSEAS Transactions on Fluid Mechanics, vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 271-278.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title A study of spin effects on tennis ball aerodynamics
Author(s) Alam, F
Subic, A
Naser, J
Rasul, M
Khan, M
Year 2008
Journal name WSEAS Transactions on Fluid Mechanics
Volume number 3
Issue number 3
Start page 271
End page 278
Total pages 8
Publisher WSEAS
Abstract Due to complex surface structure, the aerodynamic behaviour of a tennis ball is significantly different compared to other sports balls. This difference is more obvious when spin is involved. Although several studies have been conducted on drag and lift in steady state condition (no spin involved) by the authors and others, little or no studies have been conducted on spin effect. It is known that the spinning can affect aerodynamic drag and lift of a tennis ball thus the motion and flight of the ball. The primary objective of this work was to study the effect of spin using experimental and computational methods. Several new tennis balls were used in experimental study as function of wind speed, seam orientation and spins. A simplified model of a tennis ball was used in computational study using commercial software 'FLUENT'. The simulation results were compared with the experimental findings. The study shows that the spin has significant effects on the drag and lift of a new tennis ball, and the averaged drag coefficient is relatively higher compared to the non-spin condition.
Subject Aerodynamics (excl. Hypersonic Aerodynamics)
Keyword(s) drag coefficient
lift coefficient
wind tunnel
ISSN 1790-5087
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