Drag Force Calculation - enter Drag Coefficient

Compute Drag Force, Velocity, or Area


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Fluid Density: 
Drag Coefficient, C: 
Reference Area, A: 
Velocity, V: 
Force, F: 
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Units in Drag Force calculator: cm=centimeter, ft=feet, g=gram, hr=hour, kg=kilogram, km=kilometer, lb=pound, m=meter, N=Newton, s=second

Drag force is caused by a fluid (such as water or air; or any liquid or gas) impinging upon an object. The drag force is a function of the fluid velocity and density along with the object's reference area and drag coefficient. The drag coefficient may further be a function of the Reynolds number. Reynolds number depends on the fluid density, viscosity, and velocity as well as the object's characteristic length.

Drag Force Equation (Blevins, 2003 and Munson et al., 1998 and others)

F = 0.5 C ρ A V2

Our calculation allows you to use a variety of units with all of the conversions completed internally. The units below are consistent units for the drag force equation.
A = Reference area as (see figures below), m2.
C = Drag coefficient (see figures below), unitless.
F = Drag force, N.
V = Velocity, m/s.
ρ = Density of fluid (liquid or gas), kg/m3.

Drag coefficients for various objects (photographs taken by LMNO Engineering).

Tree (C values from Munson et al., 1998)
A=Tree frontal area
C=0.43 if V=10 m/s (36.0 km/h, 22.4 mph)
C=0.26 if V=20 m/s (72.0 km/h, 44.7 mph)
C=0.20 if V=30 m/s (108 km/h, 67.1 mph)
Flag (C values from Munson et al., 1998)
C=0.07 if L/D=1
C=0.12 if L/D=2
C=0.15 if L/D=3
Thin Rectangular Plate (C from Blevins, 2003)
Flow coming at the sign
C=1.05 if L/D=1.0
C=1.10 if L/D=2.0
C=1.12 if L/D=4.0
C=1.20 if L/D=8.0
C=1.22 if L/D=10.0
C=1.22 if L/D=12.0
C=1.33 if L/D=17.8
C=1.90 if L/D=infinity
Thin rectangular plate


"Need Density > 0", "Need C > 0", "Need Area > 0", "Need Velocity > 0", "Need Force > 0".

Blevins, Robert D. 2003. Applied Fluid Dynamics Handbook. Krieger Publishing Co.

Munson, Bruce R., Donald F. Young, and Theodore H. Okiishi. 1998. Fundamentals of Fluid Mechanics. John Wiley and Sons, Inc. 3ed.


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Drag Force Calculation with built-in drag coefficient values

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