Effects of Spin on Tennis Ball Aerodynamics: An Experimental and Computational Study

Alam, F., Tio, W., Watkins, S., Subic, A. and Naser, J. (2007). Effects of Spin on Tennis Ball Aerodynamics: An Experimental and Computational Study. In: Peter Jacobs, Tim McIntyre, Matthew Cleary, David Buttsworth, David Mee, Rose Clements, Richard Morgan and Charles Lemckert, 16th Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference (AFMC). 16th Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference (AFMC), Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, (324-327). 3-7 December, 2007.

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Author Alam, F.
Tio, W.
Watkins, S.
Subic, A.
Naser, J.
Title of paper Effects of Spin on Tennis Ball Aerodynamics: An Experimental and Computational Study
Conference name 16th Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference (AFMC)
Conference location Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Conference dates 3-7 December, 2007
Proceedings title 16th Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference (AFMC)
Place of Publication Brisbane, Australia
Publisher School of Engineering, The University of Queensland
Publication Year 2007
Year available 2007
Sub-type Fully published paper
ISBN 978-1-864998-94-8
Editor Peter Jacobs
Tim McIntyre
Matthew Cleary
David Buttsworth
David Mee
Rose Clements
Richard Morgan
Charles Lemckert
Start page 324
End page 327
Total pages 4
Collection year 2007
Language eng
Abstract/Summary The aerodynamic behaviour of a tennis ball is very complex and significantly differs from other sports balls due to its surface structures (fuzz, seam orientation etc). Relatively high rotational speeds (spin) make the aerodynamic properties of tennis balls even more complex. Although several studies have been conducted on drag and lift in steady state condition (no spin involved) by the author and others, little or no studies have been conducted on spin effects. The so called Magnus effect on a sphere is well known in fluid mechanics. It is believed that the spinning can affect aerodynamic drag and lift of a tennis ball thus the motion and flight path of the ball. Therefore, the primary objectives of this work are to study the spin effects using both experimental and computational methods. In order to achieve these objectives, a series of tennis balls were used to measure their aerodynamics forces as a function of wind speeds, seam orientation and spins. The experimental study was conducted in the RMIT Industrial Wind Tunnel. A computational study of a simplified tennis ball was also studied using commercial software ‘FLUENT’. The CFD results were compared with the experimental findings. Flow around the ball was visualised with smoke.
Subjects 290501 Mechanical Engineering
290200 Aerospace Engineering
Q-Index Code E1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: 16th Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference
 
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Created: Wed, 19 Dec 2007, 09:13:39 EST by Laura McTaggart on behalf of School of Engineering