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An experimental investigation into the effect of Cu2O particle size on antifouling roughness and hydrodynamic characteristics by using a turbulent flow channel

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Mehmet Atlar, Dr Maryam HaroutunianORCiD, Dr Serkan TurkmenORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


As typical biocides in marine antifouling (AF), copper and copper compounds are used to prevent the biofouling organisms that naturally grow on artificial surfaces exposed to seawater. Copper oxide, one of the most commonly used copper-based compounds, can provide an efficient mechanism for keeping surfaces free of fouling, and subsequently reducing fuel consumption and emissions of Greenhouse Gases (GHG). Commercially, before being formulated into AF paint, copper oxide is manufactured with different particle sizes, but the roughness effect of the various sizes of copper oxide particles on the drag performance of AF, and hence on the ship hull drag, has not been systematically studied in the past. Hence, in order to investigate the effect of particle sizes on antifouling roughness and hydrodynamic characteristics, a number of different sized cuprous oxide pigments, with median size ranging from 2µm to 250µm, were applied on Newcastle University’s (UNEW) standard acrylic flat test panels, 642×282×30 mm (L×W×H). Their surface roughness characteristics were analysed by using an optical surface profilometer. The macrostructure and microstructure observations of the coatings were achieved using topography mapping and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). Concurrently, laboratory experimental streamwise pressure drop measurements were conducted within the Reynolds number (based on bulk mean velocity and channel height) range from 3 × 104 to 1.6 × 105. The frictional drag penalties were estimated from the coated plates compared to the uncoated acrylic control panels. Analyses indicated that, compared to the uncoated cast acrylic smooth surface, the specimens with particle sizes 12µm and 17µm kept an average low drag increase, between 17% and 26%. Specimens with particle size 250µm resulted in the highest drag penalty increase of about 160%. Interestingly, due to particle agglomeration and surface finish conditions, those panels coated with particle sizes < 12µm were found to have higher roughness and drag characteristics than expected.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Li C, Atlar M, Haroutunian M, Anderson C, Turkmen S

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 5th International Conference on Advanced Model Measurement Technology for The Maritime Industry (AMT’17)

Year of Conference: 2017

Pages: 110-128

Online publication date: 13/10/2017

Acceptance date: 21/08/2017

Date deposited: 27/11/2017

Publisher: University of Strathclyde