Drag-reducing riblets with fouling-release properties: development and testing

H. O.G. Benschop*, A. J. Guerin, A. Brinkmann, M. L. Dale, A. A. Finnie, W. P. Breugem, A. S. Clare, D. Stübing, C. Price, K. J. Reynolds

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
67 Downloads (Pure)


The manufacture and preliminary testing of a drag-reducing riblet texture with fouling-control properties is presented. The commercial fouling-release product Intersleek® 1100SR was modified to manufacture riblet-textured coatings with an embossing technology. Hydrodynamic drag measurements in a Taylor–Couette set-up showed that the modified Intersleek® riblets reduced drag by up to 6% compared to a smooth surface. Barnacle settlement assays demonstrated that the riblets did not substantially reduce the ability of Intersleek® 1100SR to prevent fouling by cyprids of Balanus amphitrite. Diatom adhesion tests revealed significantly higher diatom attachment on the riblet surface compared to smooth Intersleek® 1100SR. However, after exposure to flow, the final cell density was similar to the smooth surface. Statically immersed panels in natural seawater showed an increase of biofilm cover due to the riblets. However, the release of semi-natural biofilms grown in a multi-species biofilm culturing reactor was largely unaffected by the presence of a riblet texture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)532-544
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • antifouling
  • biofilm release
  • drag reduction
  • Intersleek®
  • marine coatings
  • Riblet texture


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