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Drag Coefficient

  1. Apr 14, 2009 #1

    In a Drag problem, I'm trying to calculate the drag force but I dont know the drag coefficient? Is there any way to calculate it?

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  3. Apr 14, 2009 #2


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  4. Apr 14, 2009 #3
    Ok, im trying to do a tutorial sheet on it, how do I calculate it say for sphere?

  5. Apr 14, 2009 #4


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    If you click the link there is a table that lists the Drag Coefficient for a sphere as [tex] C_d = 0.47[/tex]
  6. Apr 14, 2009 #5
    Yea I have used that but it doesnt give me the required answer.
  7. Apr 14, 2009 #6


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    Do you mean how do you calculate that it is 0.47 for a sphere, or how do you calculate the drag for a sphere in given conditions?

    The drag equation ( propertional Area * velocity^2) is an approximation for high Reynolds number flow (eg air) it isn't necessarily correct for low speed or high viscosity cases.
  8. Apr 14, 2009 #7
    Using the Drag force equation I am trying the force on a sphere as it moves through an oil. The only unknown that I have is the drag coefficient? And if I use 0.47, it doesnt give me the right answer.

  9. Apr 14, 2009 #8


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    The drag coefficient is quite a function of Reynolds, and potentially other factors. Man, I must be in a good mood today. Let's see what I can find. For REALLY low Reynolds numbers, (Re < 1), we have

    [tex] C_f = \frac{24}{R^*} \left( 1 + \frac{3}{16}R^* - \frac{7k}{48}R^* \right)\,\,R^*=2R [/tex]
    Not sure why it's written like that, but oh well. [tex]R\equiv [/tex] Reynolds number of course. [tex] k = V^* / U_\infty[/tex] where V* is the radial velocity of blowing through the surface...which I assume you can take to be zero in your case.

    There is also a "famous" Oseen's (1910) drag coefficient forumula for a sphere in uniform stream:
    [tex] C_D = \frac{24}{{Re}_D}\left(1+\frac{3}{16}{Re}_D\right)[/tex]

    Stokes gave an exact solution in the limit as Re->0, such as creeping flow, where:
    [tex] C_D = \frac{24}{{Re}_D}[/tex]
    However, that's only valid where Reynolds is less than 0.2.

    What type of Reynolds are you looking at?
  10. Apr 14, 2009 #9
    Well I calculate my Reynolds number to be 9.9, the velocity of the sphere is 0.08m/s, the density is 850, diameter of the sphere is 14.7(10)^-3, and the viscosity is 0.1 which yields 9.996?

    Also from the drag equation, where I use area, will it be the surface area of the sphere, i.e. d^2*pi.

  11. Apr 14, 2009 #10
    The area you use is the frontal area, which is pi r^2 or (pi/4) d^2.
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