University of Notre Dame Background
Reducing energy consumption is of great importance in transportation systems from a view of economic and environmental impact on our society. The ability to measure and control flow and reduce drag is significant in doing so. Measuring and controlling flow is extremely important for any fluid dynamic surface and have applications in designing aerodynamic objects such as rockets, airplanes, cars, and trains, and have environmental applications for de-icing, such as architecture and power lines. Drag reduction is a beneficial approach in reducing energy consumption since drag is a major contribution to fuel consumption. Drag reduction has significant practical and commercial applications in aircraft, wind turbines, ships, and much more. Current technologies in drag reduction cannot tailor the functional components for specific flow measurements and controls for the user’s applications. The ability to monitor and control pressure and temperature measurements is thus critical in creating systems that operate successfully and efficiently.
Researchers at the University of Notre Dame have recently developed innovative coatings utilizing functional chemicals sprayed over a fluid surface to measure or control flow. Unlike state-of-the-art coatings, these novel technologies can tailor the functional components of flow measurement and control to the user’s specific applications. In addition, because these coatings can be sprayed directly over the system itself, it is not necessary to create additional measurement or control surfaces. These coatings have many important applications. For example, one of these innovative coatings enables the user to collect dynamic surface pressure and temperature information using luminescence characteristics. Hydrophobic features of the coatings can be applied for ice prevention. Microfiber-like structures of the coatings have also been demonstrated to have potential advantages in reducing fluid dynamic drags.
Mitsugu Hasegawa, Hirotaka Sakaue. “Effect of Reynolds Number on Cylinder Drag Reduction Using Micro-Fiber Coating” AIAA 2019-1628. AIAA Scitech 2019 Forum. January 2019
Broad commercial applications: aircrafts, automobiles, architecture, etc.
Ability to tailor functional components to the user’s specific needs
Eliminates the need for additional measurement or control surfaces
Global industrial coatings market: $81.5B, 3% CAGR
Aerodynamics market: $22.8B, 4.77% CAGR