AIRCOAT Project Start

The European Commission granted this innovative project intending to develop a biomimetic hull coating that reduces the frictional resistance of ships.

AIRCOAT (Air Induced friction Reducing ship COATing) develops a passive air lubrication technology that utilises the biomimetic Salvinia effect. This effect enables trapping air while submerged in water. The project technologically implements this effect on a self-adhesive foil system. Applying a ship with such an AIRCOAT foil will produce a thin permanent air layer, which reduces the overall frictional resistance significantly while acting as a physical barrier between water and hull surface inhibiting the attachment of fouling and the release of biocide substances to the water.

The three-year project started on 1st of May 2018 and receives a total grant of 5.3 million Euro from the European Commission within the Horizon 2020 framework. The kick-off took place on 7th – 8th of May 2018 in Brussels and was successfully presented on 6th of September 2018 in a Stakeholder Event at the SMM, the leading international maritime trade fair in Hamburg.

The interdisciplinary project is led by the Fraunhofer Center for Maritime Logistics and Services (CML) and includes the German partners Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the City University of Applied Sciences Bremen (HSB) and the Hamburg Ship Model Basin (HSVA). It further includes Avery Dennison Materials Belgium, PPG Coatings Europe BV from the Netherlands, Danaos Shipping from Cyprus, the AquaBioTech group from Malta, the Finnish Meteorological Institute and Revolve Water from Belgium.

HSVA will contribute to optimising the AIRCOAT surface structure via experimental hydrodynamic testing from small-scale prototype to near-operational Reynolds numbers of boats and ships. Further HSVA is involved in the development of appropriate scaling procedures to real ships and of a method to quantify and monitor the actual air layer.

Please find more details on our public project website:  www.aircoat.eu