Hydrodynamics of a biologically inspired surface coating



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The determination of parasitic drag is of vital importance to the development of more effective flow control. This work uses three experiments to evaluate drag. Each of these experiments utilize a different method to identify the effect of drag on a body moving relative to a fluid. Each experiment was conducted with the intent of testing a biologically inspired micro-fibular surface coating. This coating is a simplification of shark denticles which are known to have drag reducing properties. While most of the experiments failed to produce results that either confirm or deny these properties each experiment provides insight into the challenges faced in the measurement of drag. These results point to the necessity of experimental simplification and iterative experimental design to reduce the possibilities of error. The experiment that did produce useable results on the effectiveness of the bio-inspired micro-fibular surface coating showed that the surface increases the flow velocity present along a wall diverging from a passing flow. This increase in velocity is an indicator that flow separation should be expected and as a result a reduction in parasitic drag.



Drag, Bio-inspired surface