AIRCOAT research and product development
The project is based on observing, quantifying and defining the effect on AIRCOAT layer of 3 major principles: the air spring effect efficiency, the biofouling reduction, and the hydrodynamic performance.
air retaining surface
Inspired by the specific surface topology of a tropical water fern, Salvinia, a novel ship hull coating is being developed.
In order to maintain its function under water, the floating Salvinia fern is equipped with a special micro and nanostructure. The surface is covered with egg beater shape microstructures that are hydrophobic (repel water).
Nature’s trick is to produce hydrophilic areas on the egg beater tips that allows to trap an air layer on the plants surface. This is also know as the Salvinia effect.
To investigate the friction reduction effect of the samples a number of hydrodynamic experiments are performed. Drag reduction aims to reduce fuel consumption of ships, limiting gas emissions.
AIRCOAT project is running two types of experiments:
laminar experiments with the rheometer measurements, and turbulent experiments with flow tank (LDA) and cavitation tunnel experiments.
To validate the experiments and to upscale the results, AIRCOAT performs numerical simulations by CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics).
Biofouling is the accumulation of marine organisms on underwater surfaces, such as ship hulls. With the aim to demonstrate and validate the antifouling properties of the AIRCOAT prototypes, the project conducts laboratory experiments and tests under real conditions, with diverse fouling species, assessing their behaviour towards the different samples
and the air layer.
REDUCING NOISE POLLUTION
In order to investigate the acoustic noise emission of a surface with a permeant air layer, an acoustic noise model is designed and calculations are performed. The model developed is used together with the acoustic material data to calculate the reduction of underwater noise emission.
How can nature help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the shipping industry?
As part of the EU Green Week Partner Events 2021, this webinar gives insights into the development of the surface structure and test results. We demonstrate how the size, geometry, and chemical properties of the surface structure play a crucial role in creating air lubrication.