Aerodynamics of an Australian Rules Foot Ball and Rugby Ball
The aerodynamic behavior of a Rugby ball and an Australian Rules foot ball is complex and significantly differs from spherical sports balls due to their complex ellipsoidal shapes. Although prior aerodynamic studies have been conducted on soccer, tennis, cricket and golf balls, scant information about the Australian Rules and Rugby balls is available in the public domain. In order to understand the aerodynamic properties of Rugby and Australian Rules foot balls, experimental and computation studies have been undertaken for a range of speeds and yaw angles. The airflow around Rugby and Australian Rules foot balls was visualized and the average drag coefficients for both balls were determined and compared. Minor Reynolds number sensitivity at zero yaw angle was found in the experimental studies for both balls. However, significant Reynolds number variations were noted at yaw angles between 75∘ and 85∘. In contrast, no major Reynolds number dependency was found in the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) results for both balls.
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The authors express their sincere thanks to Mr. Wisconsin Tio, Mr. Pek Chee We and Mr. Lachlan Orr, School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia for their invaluable assistance with the CFD modeling of the Rugby ball and AFL ball. The authors are also highly indebted to Mr. Greg McClure, Heritage Sports Australia for his strong encouragement and support.
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