UT research shows 'dramatic difference' between large and small bubbles
Blowing bubbles underneath a ship’s hull, causes them to be pushed against the surface. In the surface layer between the ship and water, these air bubbles cause less friction: it’s also known as air lubrication. In practice, friction can be reduced 20 percent, with a huge impact on fuel consumption and CO2 emission. The precise mechanism is still unknown, as the local water flow is complex and turbulent. As the UT scientists prove now: the size of the bubbles make a big difference: tiny bubble don’t have a net effect at all. This may seem counterintuitive, but large bubbles that can be deformed easily, give the strongest effect.
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Max Planck Gesellschaft