There is no point in me proving it cause there are far more educated people out there that have already proved it.
There is much much discussion on this subject. let start with the golf ball, the dimples are infact added no to increase lift (although they do offer an improvement) they are infact added to reduce drag. This is achived my "triping" the laminar boundary layer in to a turbulent state, thus energizing the BL. If you plot the flow of fluid over a ball, you will find the boundary layer seperates just before the centre, cause a large wake behind the ball and hefty drag penalties. The dimples, by tripping the Laminar BL into a turbulent form helps to keep the BL attached for a longer period and reducing the drag during flight. The fact that the ball is also spinning obviously improves their use far more.
Now with an F1 vehicle. the boundary layer will always attach to a surface as a laminar form and the point of transition will occur dependant on the flow conditions. This postion can be roughly calculated using the reynold formula of Re = pVL / u and using a Re critical value of around 10^6. Now, if seperation of the flow is occuring early and cause a part stalled wing, then a method of energizing the boundary layer can be used, such as vortex generator. Because dimples trip the boundary layer into a turbulent state, the boundary layer has more energy and a later seperation will result. This does increase skin friction drag but this is neglagible compared to the benifits from reducing the wake.
A number of different reasons that they are not used on vehicle may arise through engineers, but maybe one is that there are simply more effcient methods of engergizing the BL, such as williams serated gurney flap that promotes downstream vorticies. Dimples may help reduce drag on a car if very carefully placed, but golf balls are only dimpled like they are to keep the pattern fairly uniform regardless of orientation. On an aerodynamic body that has a fixed orientation to the airstream, a well-placed trip strip or vortex generator would likely yield even more benefit.
Forced Convection Design Engineer, Comair Rotron Europe Ltd
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