Department/School of the Primary Author

Engineering and Computer Science


CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics), Drag Reduction, Elliptical Cylinders, Wind Tunnel




Drag reduction on an object subject to external flow remains a topic of interest due to a wide range of applications. Previous studies showed that grooves on the surface of a circular cylinder lead to drag reduction, which had thus been applied to save energy in various implementations. In the present study, the effects of longitudinal surface grooves with respect to drag reduction on circular and elliptical cylinders were experimentally explored through resin additive manufacturing and a wind tunnel. Significant drag reduction originated by surface grooves was observed. In conjunction with experimental investigations, numerical analyses were performed with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to examine the physical causes of the drag reduction. The numerical studies included two- and three-dimensional simulations of flow over circular and elliptical cylinders. The turbulent energy and wake regions of flow were discussed. Key factors in drag reduction were the location of the beginning of turbulence or vortices in the grooves, the boundary layer separation angle, and the size of the turbulent wake region. Through the numerical CFD simulations and experimental results, spanwise surface grooves on elliptical cylinders are verified to reduce drag.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


DigitalCommons@Cedarville provides a publication platform for fully open access journals, which means that all articles are available on the Internet to all users immediately upon publication. However, the opinions and sentiments expressed by the authors of articles published in our journals do not necessarily indicate the endorsement or reflect the views of DigitalCommons@Cedarville, the Centennial Library, or Cedarville University and its employees. The authors are solely responsible for the content of their work. Please address questions to dc@cedarville.edu.


© 2020 Michael T. Brocker, David J. McDonell, Drake L. Pensworth, and Joshua J. Swimm. All rights reserved



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.