Flow Simulation (CFD) and Wind tunnel Experiment of Cricket ball

The aerodynamic properties of a cricket ball can greatly be affected by the prominence of the seam, the surface roughness of the ball in play, and the launch attitude of the ball by the bowler. Based on seam angle and surface roughness of the ball, an asymmetric airflow over the ball due to pressure difference can be generated thereby deviating the flight from the intended path. This potential flight deviation is called swing. Therefore, it is extremely important to understand the aerodynamic properties of used cricket balls as wear and tear can have a major effect on the swing. The primary objectives of this work were to understand the aerodynamic properties of a series of used cricket balls, thus the mechanism of swing as well as the drag of a cricket ball.

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In this project, you are going to perform wind tunnel analysis and CFD analysis on a used cricket ball and compare both the result to observe how wear and release angle helps in gaining various swing. You need to gather Four balls (3 used balls and 1 new ball) to perform wind tunnel experiment. Choose used balls which are bowled 10 to 15 overs, 20 to 30 overs and 40 to 50 overs respectively. Roughness on both the sides plays an important role in generating swing. So, you have to determine the surface roughness of each ball. This data will help you create a proper CAD model. Using this model, you can perform CFD simulation.

Wind tunnel experiments are performed to validate the CFD result. So, in this experiment, you have to perform wind tunnel experiment on all the four types of ball and you need to find out drag force, drag force and side force coefficient etc.

Project Description:

  1. Cricket Ball: A cricket ball possesses six rows of stitches with approximately 70 to 90 stretches in each row and a prominent seam at the joining of two halves. A cricket ball weighs approximately 155.9 gm.
  2. Wind Tunnel: Wind tunnel is a testing equipment which mimics the actual airflow through the submerged bodies in the airfield such as aeroplanes, drones, missiles etc.
  3. CFD: Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is the science of predicting fluid flow, heat and mass transfer, chemical reactions, and related phenomena using numerical methods. It produces a fairly accurate result with ease and convenience.

Project Implementation:

  1. Perform Wind Tunnel experiment of the balls under a range of speeds (60 km/h to 140 km/h with an increment of 10 km/h) at seam orientation (seam angles) of 0º, 10º, 20º, 30º & 40º. Three sets of used balls after 10 to 15, 20 to 30 & 40 to 50 overs of bowling need to be selected for this study. Additionally, you need to test a new ball also. During this experiment record pressure head at different points by varying angle of seam and wind velocity in succession. Then from that calculate lift force, drag force and side force coefficient. Plot all the data vs Angle of attack.

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  1. Then perform simulation using CFD with the same initial condition mentioned in the above step. You can perform this simulation using the Acusolve software. Do proper meshing in the boundary layer for a better result. With the help of Aerodynamic Characteristic of the ball such as static and dynamic pressure, skin friction coefficient, wall shear stress, turbulence intensity in the transonic regime you need to analyze and predict the lift force, drag force and side force coefficient.
  2. By plotting various graphs such as Drag force coefficient vs angle of attack, Drag force coefficient Vs Reynold numbers, Side force coefficient Vs seam angle, Side force coefficient vs seam angle compare your CFD result with the experimental result for validating your numerical solution.
  3. During comparison, you should observe the following points,
  4. Your future work will be developing a multi-axes spin device to spin the ball and perform the same experiment.

Project Brief:

After successful completion of the project you should observe the following points during comparison,

  • The aerodynamic behaviour of a cricket ball significantly differs from the aerodynamic behaviour of a smooth sphere.
  • The air flow around a cricket ball does not undergo a rapid reduction of drag in critical Reynolds number as it is the case of a sphere.
  • The seam, stitches and surface roughness-all have significant effects on the drag and side force of a cricket ball.
  • The wear and tear increase the aerodynamic drag of a cricket ball.
  • The change of swing direction (sideways deviation) can take place with the increase in Reynolds numbers.

Software Requirements:

  1. Acusolve: You will be needing Acusolve software to perform CFD simulation and visualization of the result.
  2. Miniplot: Also, you need plotting software such as Miniplot or Uniplot to plot the result data and compare the results.

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Flow Simulation (CFD) and Wind tunnel Experiment of Cricket ball
Skyfi Labs Last Updated: 2021-06-14

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