Fluid Dynamics of a Shuttlecock


Substantial work has been carried out on the mechanics and aerodynamics of the shuttlecock. Some work also exists on the spin dynamics. Such work is not only of interest to shuttlecock manufacturers but is also important in badminton coaching in determining good playing technique.

No previous research is known to have been carried out on modelling the air flow around the shuttlecock. In the past the lack of computer power has been a limitation for understanding the complex flow around this sports projectile which, essentially is a hemispherically-nosed, rapidly-rotating, porous cone.

This paper will describe a feasibility study carried out to assess the possibilities for using state-of-the-art Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) in this context. The initial objectives of this study will be to describe an adequate representation of the geometry of the shuttlecock and then to present a solution for steady airflow around it, with no rotation. Future areas for research are also identified.


Michael H. Frank, Alison J. Cooke and R. Stewart Cant - Department of Engineering, Cambridge University. UK