TU Delft Sports Engineering Institute | Aquatic sport and drag
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Aquatic sport and drag

Aero & Hydrodynamics, Measurement & Feedback
About This Project

In his doctoral project, Arnoud Greidanus is focusing on drag reduction for his boat, with an eye to participation in the 2012 Olympic Games in London. His research into coatings that reduce drag combines two different areas of research: hydrodynamics and chemical technology. Using this type of research for sporting purposes is something new. Other Dutch rowers, sailors and canoeists may soon also benefit from the research into fast coatings.


Flow drag around rowingboats, canoes, sailingboats and swimmers is a substantial part of the total resistance. Near-wall flows are possibly affected by applying specific materials, such as specific surface structures and specific coatings, which can lead to reduction of friction and drag. The presence of air, such as bubbles, may influence the effectiveness of these materials. Within this project we apply and develop specific measurement methods and experimental facilities to assess the effectiveness of these materials in a quantitative manner. Another important objective is the development of completely new materials, such as compliant coatings that adapt to the local deformation as a result of the turbulent flow fluctuations along a surface. This includes the development of appropriate materials, the evaluation of the possible degradation, and the bonding of the coating to any substrate. These coatings will be tested in a systematic manner. The ultimate test is to realize an improvement of athletic achievements.