Prediction of passive and active drag in swimming

Webb, A., Banks, Joseph, Phillips, C.W.G., Hudson, D.A., Taunton, D.J. and Turnock, S.R. (2011) Prediction of passive and active drag in swimming Procedia Engineering, 13, pp. 133-140.


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In order to understand the physical origin of passive resistance in swimming the resistance breakdown for
a swimmer is investigated. A combination of empirical methods and theoretical analysis is used to predict
passive resistance in the speed range 0 – 2 ms-1 and is shown to provide similar results to those from experimental testing. Typical magnitudes of wave, viscous pressure and skin friction resistance contribute 59%, 33% and 8% of total passive resistance respectively at free swim speed. A comparison is made between the widely used Velocity Perturbation Method and a Naval Architecture based approach in predicting active drag. For the swimmer investigated the two approaches predict active drag of 131.4 N and 133.9 N for a swimming speed of 1.53 ms-1. However, the results predicted from the Velocity Perturbation Method have a much higher uncertainty and the Naval Architecture based approach is suggested as a more robust method of predicting active drag.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: swimming, passive drag, active drag
Organisations: Fluid Structure Interactions Group
ePrint ID: 198795
Date :
Date Event
September 2011Published
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2011 15:37
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2017 01:30
Further Information:Google Scholar

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