Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Drag coefficient of paper

  1. Apr 15, 2007 #1

    I am designing an experiment for an individual project and it happens to involve aerodynamic. I wonder if someone can give me some idea of the drag coefficient of a square piece of flat paper (the normal 80grams photocopying paper) travelling through air against its face? (i.e. not travelling along the edge)

    I'm guessing roughly 1.7-1.9 according to the data for "flat surface (square)" from a website. Is this supposed to be right? Is there any other shape I can make out of this kind of paper which will give higher drag coefficient?


    *EDIT: Oh and also, does anyone know the approximate mass per area of those thin aluminium foil used for food wrapping? Because if it doesnt weigh too much more than the photocopying paper then it'd probably suit the experiment better (the area will be somewhere around 25sq.cm.)

    *EDIT2: Never mind about the aluminium foil thing, I managed to work it out by using density data. Turns out that it weighs even less than the paper. Information about thin-sheet square drag coefficient would still be appreciated though ^^
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 15, 2007 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    That is a good starting point, but do understand that the paper is going to deform and thus change geometry and drag coef.

    Did you look here?
    http://aerodyn.org/Drag/tables.html#bluff [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  4. Apr 15, 2007 #3
    Hmm.. I didn't expect the paper to deform at around 100psi actually.. I'm just planning on measuring freefall time under different pressures.. I guess I'll have to see.. (I wouldn't imagine a large amount of deformation over a 3m freefall actually, I might be wrong though)

    I'm just looking for something with really really low mass and high drag coefficient actually. Been playing around with the graphs and found that paper is the best candidate so far for the experiment as it's the most "practical" to measure the data.

    And yes, that was the page I got my data from.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2007
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook