CFD Online Discussion Forums

CFD Online Discussion Forums (
-   OpenFOAM (
-   -   forceCoeffs and rhoInf dependency (

Horus July 5, 2013 16:29

forceCoeffs and rhoInf dependency

I have an incompressible simpleFoam solution of a flow field. I use forceCoeffs to calculate Cd etc. on some patches.


    type        forceCoeffs;
    functionObjectLibs ( "" );
    outputControl timeStep;
    outputInterval 10;

    patches $carPatches;
    pName      p;
    UName      U;
    rhoName    rhoInf;
    log        true;     
    rhoInf      3;         
    liftDir    (0 0 1);
    dragDir    (1 0 0);   
    pitchAxis  (0 1 0);   
    CofR        (0.56725 0 -0.1274);
    magUInf    45;
    lRef        1.5;   
    Aref        0.4;

I tried it on exactly the same case, one time set rhoInf to 3, another time to the actual value of 1.4. Both forceCoeffs got me exactly the same results, regardless of the value of rhoInf.

Is there some bug in OF 2.1.1 or a bug in my understanding of physics?

Force on a patch is F=p*A, drag coefficient is Cd = F / (0.5 rhoInf U^2). Why is there no influence of rho?


Joachim July 24, 2013 13:51

Hi Florian,

if the solver is incompressible, the pressure computed by OpenFOAM is p/rho and not p.
Hence, you don't need to know the density to get your coefficient (just divide your pressure force by 0.5*Ue^2 A). :)
You can write anything you want for the density in forceCoeffs, it is not read when computing the coefficients.



Horus July 25, 2013 10:04

Yeah, that became clear after posting this.

But I'm still riddled why OF requires setting a value of rhoInf. In the source code, as far as I can tell, it's determined by units if p' = p/rho (incompressible) or p' = p.


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 17:11.