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Issue 1 | Article 4

That's a Drag: The Effects of Drag Forces Shane Maxemow University of South Florida

Advisors: Arcadii Grinshpan, Mathematics and Statistics Karim Nohra, Civil & Enviromental Engineering Problem Suggested By: Karim Nohra Abstract. Drag is a force that opposes motion due to an object's shape, material, and speed. This project defined what drag force is, derived the governing equation for drag and listed some applications of drag forces. Derivation of the drag equation was achieved using the Buckingham π theorem, a dimensional analysis tool. Lastly, this project explored the problem of how long and how far a dragster takes to stop once its parachute is deployed. Keywords. Drag Force, Buckingham’s Theorem, Drag Coefficient

Follow this and additional works at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/ujmm Part of the Mathematics Commons UJMM is an open access journal, free to authors and readers, and relies on your support: Donate Now Recommended Citation Maxemow, Shane (2009) "That's a Drag: The Effects of Drag Forces," Undergraduate Journal of Mathematical Modeling: One + Two: Vol. 2: Iss. 1, Article 4. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5038/2326-3652.2.1.4 Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/ujmm/vol2/iss1/4

Maxemow: That's a Drag: The Effects of Drag Forces

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SHANE MAXEMOW

TABLE OF CONTENTS Problem Statement................................................................................................................... 3 Motivation ................................................................................................................................... 4 Mathematical Description and Solution Approach .................................................... 4 Discussion ................................................................................................................................... 9 Conclusion and Recommendations ................................................................................. 10 Nomenclature........................................................................................................................... 11 References ................................................................................................................................. 12 Appendices .......................................................................................................................... 13-16

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Undergraduate Journal of Mathematical Modeling: One + Two, Vol. 2, Iss. 1 [2009], Art. 4

THAT’S A DRAG: THE EFFECTS OF DRAG FORCES

PROBLEM STATEMENT This project seeks to achieve three main goals: 1. Define what drag forces are 2. Derive the standard drag equation 3. Utilize the drag equation to solve the following example: A 600-kg dragster is traveling with a velocity of 125 m/s when the engine is shut off and the braking parachute is deployed. If air resistance imposed on the dragster due to the parachute is given by the function where

is in m/s, determine the time required for the dragster to come to rest.

Also find the distance traveled in that time period.

Figure 1: Dragster with its parachutes deployed for stopping.

http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/ujmm/vol2/iss1/4 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5038/2326-3652.2.1.4

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Maxemow: That's a Drag: The Effects of Drag Forces

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SHANE MAXEMOW

MOTIVATION Drag is a fundamental force that affects all objects that encounter some sort of motion; whether it is primary motion or external motion. To realize how drag affects objects is useful to science because drag forces affect a majority of objects we use on a daily basis. The force applied to a hand held outside a speeding car is a simplistic example of drag. Scientist and engineers can use the knowledge about drag forces to solve many problems. Some examples of problems involving drag forces are: Fuel efficiency in motor vehicles Aviation Degradation of bridge pilings in a channel Productive drag (parachutes) Drag forces are often associated with inefficiency; but in some cases drag is a necessary tool used by engineers and scientist. The question listed in the problem statement is an example of where drag forces are absolutely crucial. A parachute utilizes drag forces to slow down high speed objects such a racers, aircraft, and even people.

MATHEMATICAL DESCRIPTION AND SOLUTION APPROACH Drag force (

) on an object depends on the following quantities:

Velocity ( ) Fluid Density ( ) Viscosity ( ) Area affected by motion, ( )

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Undergraduate Journal of Mathematical Modeling: One + Two, Vol. 2, Iss. 1 [2009], Art. 4

THAT’S A DRAG: THE EFFECTS OF DRAG FORCES

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Deriving a relationship between these five variables might take numerous hours and a lot of experimental data. Instead, all five quantities can be expressed in the fundamental dimensions of mass ( ), length ( ), and time ( ) and Buckingham’s π Theorem can be used to balance the dimensions properly (Buckingham, 1914). See Table 2 in Appendix A for unit conversions.

BUCKINGHAM’S Buckingham’s

THEOREM

Theorem says two things (Singer et. al., 1998):

1. If an equation is dimensionally homogeneous it can be reduced to a relationship among a complete set of dimensionless products. 2. The number of independent dimensionless products required to express a relationship between the variables in any phenomenon is equal to the number of derived variables involved , minus the number of dimensions

, or primary variables, in which these

quantities may be measured, i.e. the number of

Step 1:

Assume , , , , and . Buckingham’s

Step 2:

may be expressed in three fundamental dimensions ,

, and

theorem says that the drag force

can be expressed in terms

dimensionless quantities, i.e.

for

and

.

From Table 1 in the Appendix note that,

http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/ujmm/vol2/iss1/4 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5038/2326-3652.2.1.4

.

for some function . Note that the five quantities

of dimensionless

terms is

Maxemow: That's a Drag: The Effects of Drag Forces

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Step 3:

SHANE MAXEMOW

Select primary repeating variables, such that all fundamental dimensions are represented. Choose

Step 4:

for instance.

Let the dimensionless quantities equal the product of powers of the reoccurring quantities from Step 3 and the non-reoccurring quantities. This means

Step 5:

For

and

to be dimensionless,

Step 6:

Solve the two systems of equations in Step 5:

and

so

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,

,

, and

. So the equations in Step 4 become

Undergraduate Journal of Mathematical Modeling: One + Two, Vol. 2, Iss. 1 [2009], Art. 4

THAT’S A DRAG: THE EFFECTS OF DRAG FORCES

Step 7:

Consider the following transformations of

and

7

:

and

Since

governs the drag forces, this can be rewritten as:

In fact,

is called the Drag Coefficient and

Number. Note that both

and

is known as the Reynolds

are dimensionless as

and

are

dimensionless. It is important to remark that the drag force function can be expressed by the definition of

, i.e.

Now that the drag force equation is derived, we can solve a problem to see the effects of drag forces.

Figure 2: Free body diagram describing forces at work on the dragster

http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/ujmm/vol2/iss1/4 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5038/2326-3652.2.1.4

Maxemow: That's a Drag: The Effects of Drag Forces

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SHANE MAXEMOW

Consider the question asked in the problem statement: “A

dragster is traveling with a velocity of

when the engine is shut off

and the braking parachute is deployed. If air resistance imposed on the dragster due to the parachute is given by the function

, where

is in

determine the time required for the dragster to come to rest. Also find the distance traveled in that time period.” Let’s rephrase the question to : “Assume the parachute of the with velocity when velocity Find

and

dragster opens at time

at position

and coasts to rest at time

at position

because of a drag force

.”

First, it is beneficial to draw a free body diagram describing the forces acting on the object (see Figure 2). Notice that the drag force is acting against the cars motion. Since the drag force is given, we will not have to use the drag force equation previously derived.

To solve this, first consider Newton’s second law of motion:

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.

Undergraduate Journal of Mathematical Modeling: One + Two, Vol. 2, Iss. 1 [2009], Art. 4

THAT’S A DRAG: THE EFFECTS OF DRAG FORCES

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which yields an expression for the acceleration of the dragster in terms of its velocity. Noting that acceleration is the derivative of velocity with respect to time, we may use integration and the chain rule to find the time at

The velocity is

(see Appendix B, Section A for details):

when the dragster comes to rest, so

To find the distance traveled in those

seconds, simply express

in terms of and

integrate, i.e.

(See Appendix B, Section B and C for further details).

DISCUSSION This project yielded several results. Drag forces have many applications such as fuel efficiency in production vehicles, aviation, degradation of bridge pilings, and parachutes.

http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/ujmm/vol2/iss1/4 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5038/2326-3652.2.1.4

Maxemow: That's a Drag: The Effects of Drag Forces

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SHANE MAXEMOW

Buckingham’s

Theorem showed that the equation governing drag forces is dependent on the

viscosity and velocity of the passing air and the shape and area of the material factor. In the dragster problem, after the parachute opened it took come to a complete stop. From experience, anything around reasonable. The car also rolled

in those

seconds for the car to

seconds would have seemed

seconds which is approximately

. It is important to note that this is a long distance to travel in such a short amount of time. In the field this has very visible repercussions. This method can be used to determine how much track is needed for racecars to safely come to a stop.

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS This project defined what a drag force is, derived an equation for drag force and gave examples of those drag forces. Drag is a force that opposes motion due to an objects shape and area, material, and speed. With the help of dimensional analysis and Buckingham’s

Theorem,

this equation was derived as

An example involving the drag forces on the parachute of a dragster revealed the time and distance necessary for the racecar to reach a full stop by air resistance alone. For future projects, it is recommended that problems fully utilize the drag equation instead of providing the drag forces in the question.

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Undergraduate Journal of Mathematical Modeling: One + Two, Vol. 2, Iss. 1 [2009], Art. 4

THAT’S A DRAG: THE EFFECTS OF DRAG FORCES

NOMENCLATURE

Symbol

Quantity

Units

Area affected by motion

Acceleration

Drag Force

Viscosity of Air

Position

Fluid Density

Time

Velocity

Table 1: List of physical quantities and units relating to drag.

http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/ujmm/vol2/iss1/4 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5038/2326-3652.2.1.4

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REFERENCES BOOKS AND ARTICLES Buckingham, E. (1914). "On physically similar systems; illustrations of the use of dimensional equations". Phys. Rev. 4: 345–376. Singer, Arbocz, Weller. (1998). Buckling Experiments: Experiments in Thin-Walled Structures. Volume 1: Basic concepts, columns, beams and plates. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. pp.218-219

WEB RESOURCES Bengtson, H. (Jun 1, 2010). “Drag Force for Fluid Flow Past an Immersed Object.” Bright Hub: http://www.brighthub.com/engineering/civil/articles/58434.aspx Benson, T. (Mar. 16, 2010). “Shape Effects on Drag.” NASA Webpage: http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/rocket/shaped.html

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Undergraduate Journal of Mathematical Modeling: One + Two, Vol. 2, Iss. 1 [2009], Art. 4

THAT’S A DRAG: THE EFFECTS OF DRAG FORCES

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APPENDIX A – TABLES

Symbol

Quantity

Dimensions

Area affected by motion Drag Force Viscosity of Air Fluid Density Velocity Table 2: List of physical quantities and the fundamental dimensions they are measured in.

Shape Rough sphere ( Smooth sphere (

Drag Coefficient )

0.4 )

0.1

Turbulent flow parallel to a flat plate ( Laminar flow parallel to a flat plate (

) )

0.005 0.001

Hummer H2 (2003)

0.57

Toyota Prius (2004 - 2009)

0.26

Bullet at subsonic velocity

0.295

Table 3: Standard drag coefficients (Bengtson, 2010)

http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/ujmm/vol2/iss1/4 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5038/2326-3652.2.1.4

Maxemow: That's a Drag: The Effects of Drag Forces

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SHANE MAXEMOW

APPENDIX B – COMPUTATION DETAILS A. Calculating a relationship between time equation:

B. Solving for velocity in terms of time

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:

and velocity

through the acceleration

Undergraduate Journal of Mathematical Modeling: One + Two, Vol. 2, Iss. 1 [2009], Art. 4

THAT’S A DRAG: THE EFFECTS OF DRAG FORCES

C. Solving for position when time

http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/ujmm/vol2/iss1/4 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5038/2326-3652.2.1.4

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:

Maxemow: That's a Drag: The Effects of Drag Forces

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SHANE MAXEMOW

APPENDIX C – OTHER DRAG RESOURCES

Figure 2: Shape effects on drag including the corresponding drag coefficient CD

Figure 3: Wind tunnels are used to calculate the drag coefficient CD of objects.

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