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Experimental Study of Air Layer Sustainability for Frictional Drag Reduction

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Arun DevORCiD


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Frictional Drag reduction by micro-bubbles is a promising engineering method for reducing ship fuel consumption, especially for large slow steaming vessels. Total resistance can be broken down into frictional drag and form drag (Also known as pressure drag or profile drag). Ship's hull form optimization is commonly to reduce the form drag of a ship. Another technique would be required to deal with the frictional (viscous) portion of the total resistance. One such technique that reduces the friction resistance is the air lubrication technique. This research looks at possible enhancement for the micro-bubbles drag reduction technique with the use of hydrophobic plates to trap and retain air layer. The hydrophobic surface cannot sustain bubbles by itself. Laser machined microstructure coupled with hydrophobic coatings allows the formation of air layer rapidly, and sustainability of the air layer is recorded. With extensive experimental studies, we have shown that an air layer can be entrained around a moving flat plate thereby reducing friction. This could pave way for applying this technique around the wall of moving ship hulls thereby minimizing the viscous drag and reducing the shipping costs.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bhat N, Tay ZXB, Kwee TJ, Dev AK

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Ship Research

Year: 2014

Volume: 58

Issue: 1

Pages: 30-42

Print publication date: 01/03/2014

ISSN (print): 0022-4502

ISSN (electronic): 1542-0604

Publisher: Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers



Funder referenceFunder name
MOE-2010-1F-1-014Ministry of Education Singapore