Soccer is played all over the world in a wide range of temperature environments. One of the objectives of this numerical study is to determine whether temperature has an effect on the body and performance of a soccer ball. Another object is to aerodynamically determine the effect of stitching pattern of the ball on its flight.
The soccer ball was modeled in ANSYS Workbench and tested with thermal-stress analysis tool at nominal temperatures of 0°C, 20°C, and 40°C. The maximum deformation of a soccer ball at normal condition occurred at 40°C which was 1.0503 cm as compared to the 0.9587 cm at 0°C. This normal condition means when the ball is subjected to an internal pressure of 80 kPa which is the standard inflation pressure. When an external 2700 Pa pressure was applied to the soccer ball which is the average force of a kick, the maximum deformation again occurred at 40°C which was 5.2289 cm as compared to the 4.7599 cm at 0°C. Therefore, the stiffness of the ball materials decreased as the temperature increased. This reveals that the ball delivers a greater force at the surface of contact when the temperature drops.
The second part of this study as mentioned earlier was to study the aerodynamic effect on a soccer ball traveling through the air at a certain speed. Two types of soccer ball were analyzed for this reason to see which of the two flew better in the air. The two types were a regular FIFA soccer ball with stitching and a normal soccer ball without stitching. Two tests were performed on both types of the soccer ball. These tests were done using ANSYS FLUENT and the sought out output parameters were velocity, pressure, Reynolds Number and drag force. In the first test the soccer balls were rotating in the air and in the second test the soccer balls were not rotating in the air. For the first test, the ball without stitching had the higher velocity, Reynolds Number, and drag force, which were 126.2 m/s, 2.420 × 106, and 122.6 N respectively. This means the ball without stitching is experiencing a more random turbulent flow and is being pulled more into the direction of the drag force. This happens because the soccer ball without stitching will rotate faster and won’t have stitching patterns to create friction that will slow down the flow. For the second test, the ball with stitching had the higher velocity, Reynolds Number and drag force which were 42.22 m/s, 8.095 × 105, and 16.81 N respectively. This means the soccer ball with stitching is experiencing a random turbulent flow and is being pulled in the direction of the drag force because the stitching patterns are not in complete contact with the air to create friction.