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Drag-reducing paints for the reduction of fuel consumption in aviation and shipping

: Stenzel, V.; Wilke, Y.; Hage, W.


With, G. de:
Coatings Science International 2010 : In Noordwijk, the Netherlands, from 28 June to 2 July 2010, 34 full papers of contributions to COSI 2010
Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2011 (Progress in organic coatings 70.2011, Nr.4)
ISSN: 0300-9440
Coatings Science International Conference (COSI) <2010, Noordwijk>
Conference Paper, Journal Article
Fraunhofer IFAM ()

In October 2009 the European Commission decided that fuel consumption by aviation and shipping has to be reduced by 10% and 20% respectively by 2020. A significant contribution to this challenging goal could be a coating that reduces drag. For about 20 years it has been known that special microstructures ("riblets") can lower drag by up to 10%. A new process for the production of such microstructured coatings on large surfaces is presented in this article. This process allows coating application, embossing, and partial curing in a single step. The coating material consists of VOC-free nanocomposites that give the coating the necessary abrasion resistance and weathering stability. Drag measurements have been carried out in a ship model basin and in a wind-tunnel respectively. In these experiments, smooth coatings were compared to riblet-structured coatings. These structures were adapted to the flow-parameters of the fluid. A surface-drag reduction of 5.2% for a torpedo-shaped specimen was measured in a large hydrodynamic and cavitation tunnel. In a wind-tunnel experiment a reduction of the total drag of a wing-profile by 6.2% was measured. Both experiments indicate the high potential for fuel savings in the transportation sector.