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Experimental Investigation of Enteromorpha clathrata Biofouling on Lifting Surfaces of Marine Vehicles

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Biological fouling can adversely affect the hydrodynamic performance characteristics of hydrofoil surfaces and lead to deterioration in the vehicle performance and maneuvering abilities and higher fuel and maintenance costs. Much attention has been drawn to the frictional resistance caused by large organisms, such as barnacles, bryozoa, and tubeworms in the past. Resistance to adhesion of many of these large organisms has been demonstrated by the use of antifouling paints. This paper describes the experimental results for fouling of Enteromorpha clathrata on marine surfaces and its impact on hydrodynamic performance characteristics, in conjunction with the design, construction, and operation of a water tunnel. It includes a description of the force balance system, laser Doppler velocimeter (LDV) system, and the data acquisition system used to conduct the experimental study. Results of the experiments with Enteromorpha clathrata fouling are presented, and the effects of biofilms on turbulent boundary layer structure are outlined. The experimental results of the force balance experiment showed a constant increase in zero-lift angle of attack by 10 deg for as little as 10% fouling, and a reduction in maximum lift by as much as 70%. Similarly, the LDV experiment found an increase in the skin friction coefficient for all fouled surfaces, and an average increase of 187% for a surface dominated by an Enteromorpha species.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2001

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  • Marine Technology is dedicated to James Kennedy, 1867-1936, marine engineer, and longtime member of the Society, in recognition and appreciation of his sincere and generous interest in furthering the art of ship design, shipbuilding, ship operation, and related activities.

    The Technical papers in this quarterly flagship journal cover a broad spectrum of research on the latest technological breakthroughs, trends, concepts, and discoveries in the marine industry. SNAME News is packed with Society news and information on national, section, and local levels as well as updates on committee activities, meetings, seminars, professional conferences, and employment opportunities.

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