Evaluation of drag reducing coatings

Author: Nicholas Tugwell

Tugwell, Nicholas, 2021 Evaluation of drag reducing coatings, Flinders University, College of Science and Engineering

Terms of Use: This electronic version is (or will be) made publicly available by Flinders University in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. You may use this material for uses permitted under the Copyright Act 1968. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material and/or you believe that any material has been made available without permission of the copyright owner please contact copyright@flinders.edu.au with the details.


Methods of drag reduction garner significant interest from aa variety of industries, since the resultant benefits have great impact. Changing the surface of objects is an attractive method for many, since it has a passive involvement in the function of the object. Superhydrophobic surfaces offer a solution, and can be implemented relatively easily in a variety of applications.

In this project, a drag measuring device was constructed, so that a variety of coatings could be tested for their drag-reducing properties. This portion of the project made up a significant amount of the time involvement, ultimately restricting the amount of time in the end that could be devoted to gathering measurements about the nano-coatings.

Drag reduction was observed on the coatings that were tested however, it was determined that the drag reduction is likely due to the polymer present in the coating rather than the roughness. The amount of coatings tested was lower than desired.

Unfortunately, this project underachieved, in that there was insufficient amount of coatings measured and the range of reynolds numbers over which the drag was measured did not include the laminar or transitional flow regime.

Keywords: Drag, Drag Testing, Drag Reduction, Nano, Roughened surfaces, Roughened coatings, Nanoparticles, Dip coating

Subject: Engineering thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2021
School: College of Science and Engineering
Supervisor: Professor David Lewis