Sharkskin Paint to lower the fuel consumption of airplanes and ships and Hydrophobic ferns could also lower drag for ships

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1. Sharkskin inspired paint made with Nanoparticles reduce drag and lower fuel consumption. If the paint were applied to every airplane every year throughout the world, the paint could save a volume of 4.48 million tons of fuel. The team was able to reduce wall friction by more than five percent in a test with a ship construction testing facility. Extrapolated over one year, that means a potential savings of 2,000 tons of fuel for a large container ship. The nanoparticles which ensure that the paint withstands UV radiation, temperature change and mechanical loads, on an enduring basis. Paint is applied as the outermost coating on the plane, so that no other layer of material is required. It adds no additional weight, and even when the airplane is stripped – about every five years, the paint has to be completely removed and reapplied – no additional costs are incurred. In addition, it can be applied to complex three-dimensional surfaces without a problem.”

The next step was to clarify how the paint could be put to practical use on a production scale. The solution consisted of not applying the paint directly, but instead through a stencil. This gives the paint its sharkskin structure. The unique challenge was to apply the fluid paint evenly in a thin layer on the stencil, and at the same time ensure that it can again be detached from the base even after UV radiation, which is required for hardening.

2. The hairs on the surface of water ferns could allow ships to have a 10 percent decrease in fuel consumption.

The plant has the rare ability to put on a gauzy skirt of air under water. Researchers at the University of Bonn, Rostock and Karlsruhe now show in the journal Advanced Materials how the fern does this. Their results can possibly be used for the construction of new kinds of hulls with reduced friction. The skirt of air layer prevents the plant from coming into contact with liquid. And that even with a dive lasting weeks.

Up to now with container ships more than half of the propulsion energy is lost through friction of the water at the hull. With an air layer this loss could be reduced by ten percent according to the researchers’ estimate. Since ships are huge fuel guzzlers, the total effect would be enormous. “Probably one percent of the fuel consumption worldwide could be saved this way,” is Professor Barthlott’s prognosis. “Surfaces modelled on the water fern could revolutionise shipbuilding,” Professor Dr. Alfred Leder from the University of Rostock concurs.

Aerodynamic Fuel Efficiency of Cars – Mythbuster Golf Ball Car

I have other articles on aeromodding cars and trucks for lower fuel usage and lower drag at highway speeds.

Here is an autoblog article about aeromodding a Prius for even more mileage

A 1992 civic was extensively modified to get 95 mpg (this included using ecodriving techniques)

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