Henry Bilinsky - Inventor of Drag Reducing "Shark Skin"

Discussion in 'Hydrodynamics and Aerodynamics' started by rwatson, Mar 31, 2018.

  1. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Australian inventor Henry Bilinsky has used Shark Skin as a basis for a new drag reduction surface for planes.

    Currently under test by the US Air Force, this nature based design is looking to save millions of dollars for Military and Commercial Airlines by reducing drag.

    "MicroTau is developing a novel method of applying drag-reducing microstructures – called ‘riblets’ – onto the surface of aircraft to reduce fuel consumption.

    Riblets are microscopic ridges spaced a fraction of the width of a human hair apart. As a rule a smoother surface is more aerodynamic, however these ridges – designed over millions of years of evolution – actually decrease drag when compared to a perfectly smooth surface."

    MicroTau http://www.microtau.com.au/

    This may be able to be used in the marine environment with similar results.

     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2018
    jorgepease and Doug Lord like this.
  2. Dolfiman
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    Dolfiman Senior Member

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  3. philSweet
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    philSweet Senior Member

  4. exp30002

    exp30002 Previous Member

    Yee, go Harry Bilinsky, Go!

    May be I can catch sharks and cover the outside hull with shark skin.
     
  5. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    I guess it died since 2010 :-(

    MMMRiblet.png
     
  6. exp30002

    exp30002 Previous Member

    Well, OK.
     
  7. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    I got an email back from Henry, and he was aware of the 3m product.
    Evidently it didn't make sense economically.

    I have attached an article about the product.
    "After a year on the 18-month programme, Airbus general manager research and technical, Dieter Schmitt, says that the chief problem was fluid contamination filling the grooves on the underfuselage."
     

    Attached Files:

  8. tspeer
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    tspeer Senior Member

    There have been a number of practical obstacles to the adoption of riblets. For sailboats, they are outlawed by the Racing Rules of Sailing, which forbid "specially textured surfaces." For powerboats, biofouling would quickly be a problem.

    FWIW, besides Stars and Stripes in 1987, riblets were also used on the amas of USA 17 in 2010. The latter had finer grooves because of the higher speed of the trimaran.
     

  9. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    That makes sense. It would just make the gap between rich winners and the rest of the fleet even bigger.
    For around the world sailors though, maybe it would be helpful.
     
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