back to article German boffins develop sharkskin paint for ships, planes

Remorseless German boffins have developed a new type of paint which effectively coats ships, planes and wind turbines in sharkskin, reducing drag and saving energy. According to the scientists and engineers of the Fraunhofer-Institut für Fertigungstechnik und Angewandte Materialforschung (Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Two things...

1. Can we put it on cars - will it make enough difference at (say) highway speeds?

2. Surely wind turbines need some sort of drag, otherwise the wind won't push them round?

1
0
Paris Hilton

Good questions

1 - You could probably put it on cars, but it wouldn't make a difference for long. Just think of the dirt, squashed insects etc that batter cars all the time - your super-slick paint job would be largely defeated by that. Not to mention all the scuffs etc picked up over time (think about what a car-wash would do....).

2 - Hmm, I agree. I'd have thought that too slick a finish and the wind will just run around those blades. Of course, I'm not an aerodynamicist or a fertigungstechnologist.

Paris knows all about smooth skin....

1
1
Boffin

Re: Two things

>>2. Surely wind turbines need some sort of drag, otherwise the wind won't push them round?

Nope, wind turbines work the same way as aeroplane wings, by making the distance on the curved side longer than the flat side you have the same amount of air going over the wing which has a larger surface area, therefore it's going faster, therefore it's less dense, and the more dense air from the flat side pushes the blade (wing) round.

Less friction on the wing means that the air can travel faster (not slowed down by friction), producing a greater pressure differential, in other words, more slippery the better.

In addition the more friction the more likely cavtation and turbulance (different speeds to the layers of air) which saps the energy.

Of course there's lots more to it than that, but the rest is even more boring.

7
0

Not super slick. Rougher than poppy's kisses.

Sharkskin ppls.

1. Yes you could. Insects, dirt and avian messages from above would affect peformance over time if not cleaned up, but even a very dirty car would still retain some benefit as it is airflow over the entire vehicle that matters, not just the part where it meets the wind and collects bug's bums.

Golfball dimples also work remarkably well.

2. Too smooth a surface has different own problems. Air flows nicely over a smooth surface, but does tend to stick like sh*t to a blanket when the time comes to let go. The easiest way to visualise the idea behind dimples or denticles is to think of each dimple, being filled with a tiny ball of air. Airflow over that surface is then a nearly frictionless air-air interface. Pressure effects still apply, but there is no "grab".

0
0
Alert

nope, that's the debunked Bernoulli effect myth

see http://danielmiessler.com/blog/what-you-learned-in-school-about-how-planes-fly-was-probably-wrong

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Why?

"by making the distance on the curved side longer than the flat side you have the same amount of air going over the wing which has a larger surface area, therefore it's going faster"

What makes the air go faster?

See also, "How do 'planes fly up-side-down?"

0
0
Pint

fertigungstechnologists...

...try saying your job title at a party after a few too many G&T's...

Guaranteed if you're not standing alone afterwards, you will be as soon as you explain what it means.

1
0
Bronze badge
Pirate

All we need now

Is some frickin' lasers

4
0

Fraunhofer

Fraunhofer are a master at 2 things: (a) sucking in taxpayer's money to develop new stuff, and (b) selling the IP back to the same taxpayers.

@peter ford: (2.) no, wind turbine blades don't need drag. They work pretty much like aeroplane wings.

2
1
Silver badge
Boffin

But do they leave mounting points

For the frickin' laser?

1
0
Thumb Up

Heh

I LOL'd at the very first work, well played.

1
0
FAIL

Nothing New

I was In Australia during the America's cup in 1987 and worked with a number of the competitors on technical 'stuff'

I ran foul of one American entry when I commented on the odd texture on their hull. Exit stage left pronto.

It turned out that they were using a textured surface to reduce drag. This was a trade secret they were very very keen to keep secret.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Or you could go without...

Or it might save just as much money to simply not bother painting the plane at all and save carrying half a ton of paint around the world?

1
2
FAIL

Err. no.

"Or it might save just as much money to simply not bother painting the plane at all and save carrying half a ton of paint around the world?"

You don't think they paint planes purely to make them pretty do you? It's a *protective* coating.

That's why he said it weighs nothing - because you need paint anyway and it isn't heavier than normal paint.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Ship use

"no less than 2,000 tons of fuel annually if applied to a large container vessel"

Isn't the problem with ships, not that the current paint is "draggier"* but the subsequent encrustation of barnacles and other sea life that slows them down, or is this paint mollusc repellent?

*Units of drag, anyone?

2
0

Divines

aka Harris Glenn Milstead

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Just checked

and they do say the paint is useless since "muscles" etc can still attach themselves to the hull. and they don't have an answer for that yet.

1
0

Units of drag?

Uh, I believe that would be "Chers".

(Perhaps "Eltons" across the pond. Or "Liberaces" for the pensioners.)

1
0
Silver badge
Coat

Unit of drag?

"*Units of drag, anyone?"

A Lilly Savage.

0
0
Coat

Nouns start with a Kapital Letter, ja?

i.e. Vorsprung durch Fertigungstechnik. Get it right, folks - this very nearly was the legislative language in the UK! Otherwise, well done El Reg for putting a sensible phrase together in a language other than English.

Mine's the one with the Euros in the pocket.

2
0

Vorsprung durch Fertigungstechnik

I always felt Blizzard's version: "Vorsprung durch Forschung" - ("A Headstart through Research") was superior to Audi's - and it rhymed too!

1
0
Coat

In the German language....

...substantives begin with a capital letter. So it's Fertigungstechnik, not fertigungstechnik. And if the word "fertigungstechnologist" existed it would be "Fertigungstechnologist" with a likely plural of "Fertigungstechnologisten".

German (like UNIX) is case sensitive.

I would classify that as basic general knowledge. But I live on the mainland. Over there on the island these things just aren't held to be important, are they? Everybody learns all the German they need to know from their Grandad's collection of "The Hotspur". "Raus schnell!"

AC because of adolescent sarcasm.

2
1
Unhappy

well no, actually

"I would classify that as basic general knowledge. But I live on the mainland. Over there on the island these things just aren't held to be important, are they?"

You're right they aren't. We've noticed that on the mainland not all of you speak German. Some speak other weird stuff like French or Slovenian and, to be honest, we just learn the easy stuff like Spanish. If we bother at all.

You might think we'd try to learn the most useful foreign languages but as the most common one we encounter in daily life is Polish and very few of us learn that then it's obviously not true.

Too many foreign languages to choose from, not enough time. Or motivation.

4
0
Thumb Up

You've got to love those Germans!

Except they make the rest of us look like a bunch of slackers...

Anyway, no more time for comments, got to get back to slacking!

2
0

Vorspring durch painting stuff.

Doesn't really have the necessary ring, does it.

3
0

Fraunhofer-Institut für Fertigungstechnik und Angewandte Materialforschung

Do their business cards come in widescreen?

5
0
Happy

Widescreen Business Cards...

...Don't be silly. They use acronyms and abbr's instead. You know, stuff like VW, BMW, V1, V2, VW, GeStaPo, Sfl, IFAM, etc., etc., etc. (The last three are english).

1
0
Jobs Halo

I think you will find...

... the last three words are Latin actually.

0
0
Happy

Re: units of Drag question..

It's Friday, there must be an ElReg unit for drag. How about calling it the Edna ?

3
0
Alert

How about...

How about newtons...

They work in more then one direction you know...

0
0
Headmaster

unit of drag #2

How about the bummer, abbr. bum.. This has the advantage of being easy to define and practically measure, as the amount of drag arising when you pull a person in Lederhosen by the feet. The standard unit, 1 bummer, arises on a normal surface like concrete.

by the way eine Fertigung means a finish. In trendier times, I thought the copying of ideas from nature was called bioengineering?

1
0

Best effect

""Hmm, I agree. I'd have thought that too slick a finish and the wind will just run around those blades. Of course, I'm not an aerodynamicist or a fertigungstechnologist.""

If you apply it to inner surface of blades only it will work very well.Leave otter surface the same as you want its drag effect . Lower surfaces of air craft wings etc.

0
0
Happy

Yes.......

But what is like on U-Boats?

0
0
Joke

usually

cramped, smelly and noisy

0
0
Joke

fertigungstechnologist

sounds like a naughty word.

0
0
Silver badge

Actually...

...it's Fertigungstechniker.

However, if it's male and has a wife, that would be the Fertigungstechnikersfrau. If several of them start a book club about antique books, they'd probably call it Fertigungstechnikersfrauenantikbuchclub. And their meetings would be. Fertigungstechnikersfrauenantikbuchclubtreffen.

0
0
Bronze badge
Boffin

Old technology, doesn't work!

This was done on Airbus 330 and 340's ... problems? It works for some time, then you get a layer of dead insects on it and the effect is gone.

This was done like 10 - 15 years ago on Airbus aircraft, I personally know the guyz who came up with the idea!

0
0
Bronze badge
Pirate

Polytetrafluoroethylene

Do I have to be the idiot who says just cover ships in PTFE - should keep the old barnacles off too.

Probably frinkin' cheaper too.

Same goes for aircraft, cars, bikes, wind turbines et al

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums