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 Dimpled body work on racing cars?
Steelstallions
Posted: Oct 29 2009, 07:05 AM
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Just seen an episode of Mythbusters and they proved an 11% increase in fuel economy on a car with dimples similar to a golf ball.
They first proved that dimpled golf balls travel 30% further than smooth golf balls then they covered a car in model clay and tested its fuel efficiency before the clay with smooth clay and then they cut the dimples into the clay but the removed weight back into the car and it was 11% more fuel economical.

Is there any regulation stopping F1 cars or any other motor sport having dimpled body work, especially as next season there is no refuelling?

Here is the episode

http://dsc.discovery.com/videos/mythbuster...y-vs-clean-car/

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Steelstallions
Posted: Nov 2 2009, 07:33 PM
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nobody interested in this? blush.gif
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John
Posted: Nov 2 2009, 07:46 PM
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I didn't see the thread... amazing effect, although they look more like craters than dimples, the problem is getting the automobile makers to produce a dimpled finish car that will sell... maybe it is something they are looking into but waiting until the market is ready to accept dimple cars
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Steelstallions
Posted: Nov 2 2009, 10:49 PM
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QUOTE (John @ Nov 2 2009, 07:46 PM)
I didn't see the thread... amazing effect, although they look more like craters than dimples, the problem is getting the automobile makers to produce a dimpled finish car that will sell... maybe it is something they are looking into but waiting until the market is ready to accept dimple cars

It would be hard to catch on for everyday cars that depend on looks as well all the other aspects we want in a car, but for racing cars and F1 cars that cannot stop for fuel, an 11% increase in fuel economy on such a raw test could transform to 20-30% fuel saving on a well funded proper testing of its potential.

Its so good to be true I bet Brawn would consider it think.gif
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flood1
Posted: Nov 2 2009, 11:07 PM
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The link has about a dozen short vids. Which one are we talking about, or do we need to look at all of them?
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John
Posted: Nov 2 2009, 11:18 PM
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all together they make up the whole... the middle section give a gist of the concept
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Steelstallions
Posted: Nov 2 2009, 11:20 PM
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QUOTE (flood1 @ Nov 2 2009, 11:07 PM)
The link has about a dozen short vids. Which one are we talking about, or do we need to look at all of them?
QUOTE
Mythbusters test golf ball-like dimpling effect on fuel economy (*Spoiler Alert!*)The Mythbusters must be closet car fans, because the hour-long show on the Discovery Channel seems to be producing more and more experiments involving automobiles than ever before. Their latest again involves fuel efficiency, this time testing if a dirty car is more fuel efficient than a clean one because of the golf ball-like dimpling effect of the dirt. Turns out dirt doesn't make a difference, but Adam and Jamie went one step further to test if covering a car in actual golf ball-like dimples would improve its fuel efficiency. According to cable's most crack scientists, yes, it will.

The show's team completely covered a last-gen Ford Taurus with modelers clay and figured out that it would achieve about 26 mpg at a constant 65 mph. They then went about adding over 1,000 dimples to the car's exterior. To keep the experiment consistent, all 1,082 dimples removed from the clay exterior were put in a box and set in the back seat so that the car would weigh exactly the same as before dimpling. The theory is that, like a golf ball, the dimples would reduce the car's drag through the air, thus allowing it to travel the same distance at the same speed using less fuel. The result? Over 29 mpg.

Follow the jump to watch the whole episode for yourself, though if you're only interested in watching the dimpled car do it's thing, skip ahead to about 40 minutes in.
user posted image

This post has been edited by Steelstallions on Nov 2 2009, 11:23 PM
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flood1
Posted: Nov 3 2009, 12:58 AM
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First, I must say that I really enjoyed the video. I have never watched mythbusters before, and Hunkydorri and I watched this and had a great time. Dorri is an analytical chemist and works in a lab and as such thinks scientifically. Most of you are aware of my technical background. Neither of us has any real problem with their approach, not scientifically rigorous, but fun and probably good enough to be reasonably valid.

The dimpled car got better gas mileage than the smooth car. That surprised me and it surprised the mythbusters. Let's look at the golfball effect.

user posted image

user posted image

The smooth one creates a much broader wake that is poorly defined. In CFD, as shown in the vid, a very irregular pattern is the result. This creates forces that stall the air behing the ball and produce a "suction" slowing it down.

The dimpled one creates a more narrow wake that reconverges behind the ball and has less "suction." So the ball moves away.

It worked on the road car because it is a very smooth surface with low drag characteristics. This is much like the spherical golf ball.

F1 cars, however, have a very high drag configuration. The air is not "laminar" like it is in road cars. It is "turbulent." This explains all of the chimneys, winglets, and other assorted aero oddities in F1 cars pre-2009 regulations. I suspect that they were trying to achieve the "dimple" effects on a "non-spherical" high downforce object.

I think it may work on road cars, but I think on F1 cars the effect is not present due to their "non-spherical" and "non-laminar" shape.

To repeat myself, I really enjoyed the vid. Thanks for that Steel, and thanks for prompting us to have a second look. thumbsup.gif
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John
Posted: Nov 3 2009, 11:42 AM
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Excellent clap.gif

I guess such an effect would suit endurance sports, maybe Audi or Peugeot will run a Dimpled car at Le Mans
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Rob
Posted: Nov 3 2009, 04:43 PM
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QUOTE (flood1 @ Nov 2 2009, 05:07 PM)
The link has about a dozen short vids. Which one are we talking about, or do we need to look at all of them?

Don't you watch Mythbusters? yikes.gif I figured that would be an automatic on the flood watch list.

I saw the episode and had the same though SS. Although I do wonder how much of the car could have dimples. I imaging there might be cooling issue w/ the engine cowling and radiator dusts. Maybe only putting dimples on the cockpit and nose might help w/ fuel, I really don't know.
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flood1
Posted: Nov 3 2009, 05:41 PM
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QUOTE (Rob @ Nov 3 2009, 10:43 AM)
Don't you watch Mythbusters? yikes.gif I figured that would be an automatic on the flood watch list.


I don't watch much TV. I am one of "those" people who read a couple hundred pages a day. The rest is music and playing my guitar (badly). I usually like most of what I watch, I just don't watch much.
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Paul_Murtagh
Posted: Nov 3 2009, 05:52 PM
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It's an interesting subject and one which I would never have considered. Perhaps we will see some teams in some area of motorsport try this at some point in the future
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Steelstallions
Posted: Nov 4 2009, 05:34 PM
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QUOTE (Paul_Murtagh @ Nov 3 2009, 05:52 PM)
It's an interesting subject and one which I would never have considered. Perhaps we will see some teams in some area of motorsport try this at some point in the future

The dimples on the test car where huge, but i did wonder what the effect would be if they had them golf ball size, would it make any difference. I really think its a cheap way of finding a solution to a complicated problem.
Body work with dimples the size you find on golf balls would be less noticeable and easier to incorporate on racing cars.

This post has been edited by Steelstallions on Nov 4 2009, 05:35 PM
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Foowee
Posted: Jun 4 2011, 05:00 PM
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I know this is an old topic. But I am searching... Just going out on a limb and assuming that scaling up the dimple size is an advantage by looking at this:

http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/news/4316702
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John
Posted: Jun 4 2011, 09:05 PM
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Hi Foowee, well judging by those test results few will take up the dimple wrap... unless it for some reason becomes a fashion statment... like the trend in flat matt black cars.
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