Journal Article Visualization of air flow around soccer ball using a particle image velocimetry

Hong, Sungchan  ,  Asai, Takeshi  ,  Seo, Kazuya

5p.15108 , 2015-10 , Nature Publishing Group
A traditional soccer ball is constructed using 32 pentagonal and hexagonal panels. In recent years, however, the likes of the Teamgeist and Jabulani balls, constructed from 14 and 8 panels, respectively, have entered the field, marking a significant departure from conventionality in terms of shape and design. Moreover, the recently introduced Brazuca ball features a new 6-panel design and has already been adopted by many soccer leagues. However, the shapes of the constituent panels of these balls differ substantially from those of conventional balls. Therefore, this study set out to investigate the flight and aerodynamic characteristics of different orientations of the soccer ball, which is constructed from panels of different shapes. A wind tunnel test showed substantial differences in the aerodynamic forces acting on the ball, depending on its orientation. Substantial differences were also observed in the aerodynamic forces acting on the ball in different directions, corresponding to its orientation and rotation. Moreover, two-dimensional particle image velocimetry (2D-PIV) measurements showed that the boundary separation varies depending on the orientation of the ball. Based on these results, we can conclude that the shape of the panels of a soccer ball substantially affects its flight trajectory.

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