# Calculating Coefficient of Drag: Pressure & Friction Drag

• Howlin
In summary, the coefficient of drag (Cd) is a ratio that compares the drag of an object to that of a brick of the same frontal dimensions. It is calculated using the equation F_{D} = .5*ρ*v^{2}*A*C_{D} where F_{D} is the force of drag, ρ is density, v is velocity, A is the contact area and C_{D} is the coefficient of drag. Other methods for calculating Cd may include using a wind tunnel or a computer simulation. The frontal dimensions can be determined through various means such as using a CAD model or taking a photo with a meter rule for reference. Overall, Cd is a useful tool for understanding the drag of different objects and can
Howlin
Hi

I know what pressure and friction drag are, I am having a hard time trying to find out how can you calculate the coefficient of drag for them?
I think i have came across an equation for it: F$_{D}$ = .5*ρ*v$^{2}$*A*C$_{D}$
where F$_{D}$ is the force of drag, ρ is density, v is velocity, A is the contact area and C$_{D}$ is the coefficent of drag

is there any other equation used to calculate C$_{D}$?

Cd is the ratio of the drag of the body in question when compared with a brick of the same frontal dimensions. It is a function of the geometry of the object - more streamlined, lower Cd.

A brick* has a Cd of 1 (by definition). A modern car is typically a Cd of ~0.3. A car with a Cd of 0.25 would be one of the more streamlined car bodies (at this current time). An aerofoil shape is ~0.1, or much less, all dependent on the geometry of the object. You can simulate for it, but ultimately you measure it in a wind tunnel.

*(That is to say, the assumption is that you are simply accelerating all the air infront of the moving object up to the same speed as the object passing through it.)

cmb said:
Cd is the ratio of the drag of the body in question when compared with a brick of the same frontal dimensions.

So for example if you had a double decker bus, you would put that (or a scaled down version of it) in a wind tunnel and get the drag of the body and then get a brick of the same size in the the wind tunnel and get the drag of the body and then get the ratio of them?

how would it be done for a plane or a car when the frontal dimensions are not easily found?

I would be guessing, but these days if they wanted the cross-sectional area I presume they'd get a CAD model of the frontal view of the thing, and get the computer to work out the area. If you wanted to do this for yourself you could just take a photo, with a meter rule in the picture to act as a graticule, and count up the squares!

There is no need to measure the Cd of a brick! If you look at your equation, it is simply a calculation based on the kinetic energy of a given amount of displaced air, accelerated to the velocity. To determine the drag, I expect they'd just measure the force on the object at a given wind speed and back-calculate the equivalent 'power' that would be required (force x velocity), which then provides an equivalence to how much air would need to be accelerated (that is, if the air were stationary and pushed out of the way by the moving object).

I expect there are non-linearities of Cd according to the airspeed and the particular nature of the design, but I'm sure if an engineer wants the Cd accurately for some reason then they'd derive it for a given velocity through the air.

Hello,

Yes, the equation you mentioned is one of the most commonly used equations for calculating the coefficient of drag. However, there are other equations that can be used depending on the specific situation and variables involved. Some other equations that are commonly used include:

- The drag equation, which is similar to the one you mentioned but also includes the drag coefficient for a specific shape or object (such as a sphere or cylinder).
- The drag coefficient can also be calculated using experimental data and regression analysis to fit a curve to the data points.
- In some cases, the coefficient of drag can also be calculated using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations.

It's important to note that the coefficient of drag is not a constant value and can vary depending on factors such as the shape and surface roughness of the object, as well as the flow conditions. Therefore, it may be necessary to use multiple equations or methods to accurately calculate the coefficient of drag for a specific situation. I hope this helps!

## What is coefficient of drag?

Coefficient of drag, also known as drag coefficient, is a dimensionless quantity that represents the resistance an object experiences as it moves through a fluid (such as air or water). It is a measure of how streamlined or aerodynamic an object is.

## How is coefficient of drag calculated?

Coefficient of drag is calculated by dividing the drag force by the product of the dynamic pressure of the fluid, the reference area of the object, and the density of the fluid. It can also be determined experimentally by measuring the force exerted on an object as it moves through a fluid at a constant velocity.

## What is pressure drag?

Pressure drag is one component of drag that results from the difference in pressure between the front and back of an object as it moves through a fluid. It is caused by the separation of the fluid flow around the object, which creates a low-pressure region behind the object.

## What is friction drag?

Friction drag is the other component of drag that results from the friction between the fluid and the surface of an object as it moves through the fluid. It is caused by the turbulent boundary layer that forms around the surface of the object, increasing the drag force.

## How can coefficient of drag be reduced?

Coefficient of drag can be reduced by designing objects with streamlined shapes that minimize pressure drag and by using materials with low surface friction to reduce friction drag. Additionally, reducing the size and number of protrusions on an object can also decrease its coefficient of drag.

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