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CFD simulations of the effects of fouling and antifouling

Xiao, Qing and Khor, Yee Shin (2011) CFD simulations of the effects of fouling and antifouling. Ocean Engineering, 39 (10). pp. 1065-1079. ISSN 0029-8018

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Biofouling is a global problem in the marine industry though its effects on lift and drag are rarely discussed. This paper seeks to employ Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) method to quantify the effects of this problem based on the obtained flow field information. The simulation is carried out on a NACA 4424 airfoil and Defence Research Establishment Atlantic (DREA) Submarine Hull. Different levels of fouling are studied with quantified fouling height and density. As an extension, the effects of two common antifouling methods, i.e. tin-free Self-Polishing Copolymer (SPC) and Foul Release on the drag of NACA 4424 foil and the submarine hull is investigated. For NACA 4424 airfoil, fouling reduces lift-drag ratio (CL/CD) by up to 80% in maximum and therefore result in the significant increase in fuel consumption. Predicted flow data shows this is related to the increased flow separation region caused by the fouling. It is found that pressure gradient gradually increases from the smallest fouling height to the largest but does not vary that much for fouling of varying densities. The general trend of CL/CD varies with angle of attack agrees well with others experimental data. Computed results also show good agreement with experimental data for the DREA bare hull. As to antifouling, Foul Release, despite being 30% more expensive than SPC, exhibits 10―40% higher CL/CD as compared to SPC for NACA foil and submarine hull.