Smile! Dimples boost your mileage

Trucks covered with tiny indentations, like those on golf balls, experience less friction

By Sid Perkins, 13:22 PM May 27, 2013


This teen’s wind tunnel tests showed that dimpling the surface of trucks could greatly reduce drag from friction. Patrick Thornton, SSP

Part of the energy used to move a car, truck or plane is spent overcoming the friction posed by air. The force caused by that friction is known as aerodynamic drag — and it can really hold a vehicle back. Over the years, researchers have developed ways to cut that drag. Now, an 18-year-old engineer has come up with a new approach. It’s specifically designed to boost the fuel efficiency of large trucks. And her solution: Just add lots of tiny dimples.



When air slams into an object, it has no...

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