Soccer balls have undergone dramatic changes in their surface structure that can affect their aerodynamics. The properties of the soccer ball surface such as the panel shape, panel orientation, seam characteristics, and surface roughness have a significant impact on its aerodynamics and flight trajectory. In this study, we performed wind-tunnel tests to investigate how the introduction of grooves on the surface of a soccer ball affects the flight stability and aerodynamic forces on the ball. Our results show that for soccer balls without grooves, changing the panel orientation of the ball causes a significant change in the drag coefficient. Soccer balls with grooves exhibited a smaller change in air resistance (Cd
) in the supercritical region (20 to 30 m/s; 3.0 × 105
≤ 4.7 × 105
), compared to the ungrooved ball where only the panel orientation was changed. Furthermore, at power-shot speeds (25 m/s), the grooved ball exhibited smaller variations in lift force and side force than the ungrooved ball. These results suggest that a long groove structure on the surface of the soccer ball has a significant impact on the air flow around the ball in the supercritical region, and has the effect of keeping the air flow separation line constant.
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