Optimization of Drag Reducing Shark Inspired Blade-Shape Riblet Surfaces in External Flow


1 Mechanical Engineering, Malek-Ashtar University of Technology, Shiraz, 7194915685, Iran

2 Chemical Engineering, Malek-Ashtar University of Technology, Shiraz, 7194915685, Iran


The main goal of this research is to study the drag reduction capabilities of blade-shape riblet surfaces in external flows. For this purpose, the ability of riblet surfaces for drag reduction of an underwater hydrodynamic model has been investigated. The surface geometry has been modified by applying shark skin inspired blade-shape riblets on the surface. These riblets have been modeled in various dimensions and applied on the exterior surface of an underwater hydrodynamic model, and their effects on the exerted drag force, at different flow velocities, have been studied numerically. For validating the numerical solution, the simulation results have been compared with the experimental data obtained by testing an underwater hydrodynamic model in a towing tank laboratory; and the validity of the numerical solution results has been confirmed. The results indicated that, riblet spacing has a significant effect on the reduction of drag force. Furthermore, by increasing the riblet spacing, the drag force is increased rather than decreased. Also, as the velocity increases, the performance of riblets in reducing the drag force is enhanced. In order to minimize the drag force applied on the underwater hydrodynamic model, by analyzing the numerical results, the most optimum riblet spacing has been obtained; at which the drag force is reduced by 7%. The achieved distance is a limit value; and at distances smaller or larger than this optimal distance, the effectiveness of the blade-shape riblet surface in reducing the drag force diminishes.