THE AIRCOAT PROJECT
The Air Induced friction Reducing ship COATing (AIRCOAT) project aims to develop a passive air lubrication technology inspired by the Salvinia effect. Applying the AIRCOAT technology to ship-hull surfaces will produce a thin permanent air layer when submerged in water. This will reduce the overall frictional resistance, while acting as a physical barrier between water and the hull surface. In addition to reducing energy consumption, the air barrier will inhibit the attachment of maritime organisms (biofouling).
The AIRCOAT technology has the potential to reduce energy consumption and emissions of waterborne transport, making it more sustainable. This three year project started on 1 May 2018 and received a total grant of 5.3 million Euros from the European Commission within the Horizon 2020, addressing the topic: Innovations for energy efficiency and emission control in waterborne transport.
THE SALVINIA EFFECT AND BIOMIMETICS
The naturally occurring Salvinia effect allows the Salvinia floating fern to breath under water by keeping a permanent layer of air. Inspired by this phenomenon, the AIRCOAT project intends to implement this effect on a self-adhesive foil system. It is therefore a prime example of a biomimetic application where technology learns from nature.
AIRCOAT aims to introduce a game-changing hull-coating and validate its potential to reduce emissions and increase energy efficiency, by
- Reducing frictional resistance
- Reducing emission of pollutants
- Reducing biofouling
- Designing application and production procedures
- Improving public awareness of AIRCOAT technology
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Fraunhofer is Europe’s largest application-oriented research organization.
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