Wind resistance and automobile shapes
The materials required for this science fair project are:
- 3 pieces of polyfoam – 100mm x 100mm x 200mm
- 1 paper knife
- 1 Newton spring balance
- 1 industrial fan
- 1 table with a smooth surface
- 1 nail
1. The independent variable of this science fair project is the shape of the object – rectangular, low profile rectangular and low profile streamlined. The dependent variable is the wind resistance on the object. This is measured using the Newton spring balance. The constants (control variables) are the wind velocity, the materials used to construct the shapes (poly foam), the smoothness of the table surface and the distance of the fan from the object.
2. Using a paper knife, the following shapes are carved from the poly foam.
a. A cuboid – 100mm x 100mm x 200mm
b. A low profile cuboid – 50mm x 100mm x 200mm
c. A low profile streamlined shape – 50mm x 100mm x 200mm
3. The Newton spring balance is mounted on the side of the table using a nail. The cuboid foam cut out is fixed onto the tip of the spring balance. Place the industrial fan 1 meter away from the table. Once the fan is turned on, the wind will push thefoam cut out away from the fan. The force of the wind acting on the foam cut out can be measured using the Newton spring balance. The reading is observed and recorded in the table provided below.
4. Step 3is repeated with the low profile rectangle and the low profile streamlined foam cut outs respectively. The measurements from the Newton spring balance are recorded in the table provided below.
Basic safety requirements