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Old March 26th   #1
Samir
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Drag Coefficient and Waxed Paint

So as I was driving through the yucky weather a few minutes ago, I was wondering if the rain made a difference on the drag coefficient since my paint is like chalkboard. And I thought to myself of course it would.

So then I started thinking about high speed wind tunnel testing and wondered if a waxed surface actually decreases the drag or not, and if waxes and such are used during the tests to produce the drag coefficient 'spec' that we see on all modern cars. I know there's some aerospace engineers in this town, so let's hear some opinions (even if you aren't an engineer).
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Old March 26th   #2
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It would as wax reduces the friction between surfaces which causes drag. What I want to see if a high end exotic with "golf ball dimples", it would create different pressure zone and cause less drag, but it would be difficult to implement it into a car I think...
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Old March 26th   #3
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and while I'm thinking about it, the wax has to be even or it could actually cause drag depending on the thickness of the wax across the surface. Being even all the way across the car would be ideal, but if it's uneven you could get different area across the surface with low and high pressure areas and that could cause problems.
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Old March 26th   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cLc View Post
What I want to see if a high end exotic with "golf ball dimples", it would create different pressure zone and cause less drag, but it would be difficult to implement it into a car I think...
So that's why golf balls are like that. It would be intersting to see the same principles applied to an automobile.
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and while I'm thinking about it, the wax has to be even or it could actually cause drag depending on the thickness of the wax across the surface. Being even all the way across the car would be ideal, but if it's uneven you could get different area across the surface with low and high pressure areas and that could cause problems.
But since even the widest variation of wax would still be less than the variation in the body panel itself, wouldn't the body panel itself have more influence?
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Old March 26th   #5
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While I am in no means an aeronautical engineer,I am old and I do remember that way back around 1968 or so Richard Petty put a vinyl top on his NASCAR Plymouth because he found out the rough surface helped his drag somewhat.I do not know how much as I lost interest in NASCAR and quit following it.I imagine it wasn't much or they would all have vinyl tops on them now.
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Old March 26th   #6
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Quote:
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It would as wax reduces the friction between surfaces which causes drag. What I want to see if a high end exotic with "golf ball dimples", it would create different pressure zone and cause less drag, but it would be difficult to implement it into a car I think...
search on google for "mythbusters golf ball car". They actually did this and showed you got better fuel economy. Looked funny!
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Old March 26th   #7
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There are lots of variables involved. unless its in a controlled environment like a wind tunnel.
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Old March 26th   #8
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In most high speed motorsports no stickers its all paint or a wrap the smallest of edges cause drag
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Old March 26th   #9
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0 to 70 MPH not as important as 100+ that's were u can see the advantages of being slick the more increase of air flow mass the slicker the better
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Old March 28th   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samir View Post
So that's why golf balls are like that. It would be intersting to see the same principles applied to an automobile.
But since even the widest variation of wax would still be less than the variation in the body panel itself, wouldn't the body panel itself have more influence?
Yes, the shape of the body panel with play a bigger role, but depending on the wax, the application, etc. it will effect the drag. I would like to know the thickness that the paint and clearcoat along with what kinds they use on the veyron, I'd like to see their entire paint process actually...lol

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search on google for "mythbusters golf ball car". They actually did this and showed you got better fuel economy. Looked funny!
I was kind of referencing to that but, if I remember correctly the way it works with a golf ball, is that in the "dipples" it creates a pocket of low pressure, and would actually give the body lift, which would give you better gas mileage, but would kill you on a track.

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There are lots of variables involved. unless its in a controlled environment like a wind tunnel.
There are, but if you are testing 2 vehicles side by side with same barometric pressure, altitude, temp, etc. then that kind of defeats the arguement of other variables. Or we can assume that all of this is conducted in a wind tunnel to take the variables out.

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0 to 70 MPH not as important as 100+ that's were u can see the advantages of being slick the more increase of air flow mass the slicker the better
This is true, but to get the least amount of drag, you want the least friction to be created. inconsistencies in the wax could cause unwanted drag, granted that drag coefficient of 1 wrinkle might not be that much, but multiply that over a number of wrinkles, ledges, pits, etc over the entire body of a vehicle and it just multiplies. idk though...maybe I've overcomplicating it in my head...it's late and I'm tired lol

Last edited by cLc; March 28th at 01:49 AM.
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Old March 31st   #11
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Quote:
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So that's why golf balls are like that. It would be intersting to see the same principles applied to an automobile.
But since even the widest variation of wax would still be less than the variation in the body panel itself, wouldn't the body panel itself have more influence?
if I wasn't at work right now and could youtube, I'd try to find the clip. Anyway, Mythbusters did an episode where they took a taurus and made it have golf ball dimples. I can't recall the exact result, but the car was more efficent.
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Old March 31st   #12
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search on google for "mythbusters golf ball car". They actually did this and showed you got better fuel economy. Looked funny!
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Originally Posted by racinfast002 View Post
if I wasn't at work right now and could youtube, I'd try to find the clip. Anyway, Mythbusters did an episode where they took a taurus and made it have golf ball dimples. I can't recall the exact result, but the car was more efficent.
Yep, Maliker mentioned that in his post too. Must have been a good episode!
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