Numerical study on air cavity flows

Oleksandr Zverkhovskyi, Maarten Kerkvliet, Arjan Lampe, Guilherme Vaz, Thomas van Terwisga

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientific


One of the most promising viscous drag reduction techniques for ships is so-called air lubrication. Particularly, a stable air layer created on the bottom reduces the wetted area and therefore reduces the resistance of a ship due to the negligibly small viscous drag of air compared to water. The air cavity and air chamber concepts are considered as the most effective and practical ways to form a stable air layer on the bottom capable to reduce the total drag by 10-20% for cargo ships ([1], [2]). These concepts are shown in Figure 1. The air cavity concept is based on injecting air behind a small obstruction that separates the flow which is called a cavitator. The cavitator is extended in the span-wise direction and typically has a rectangular or triangular cross section with a sharp edge. In the developed stage the length of an air cavity is limited to the length of a half the gravity-wave length and it should be restricted by skegs/keels on the sides. The air chamber is created by injecting air into a recess formed in the bottom. Provided the recess has sufficient depth, the free surface is not limited by the wave length and can have a multi-wave profile. The shape of the free-surface at different flow conditions and air injection rates is of interest.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 18th Numerical Towing Tank Symposium (NuTTS 2015)
EditorsVolker Bertram, Emilio F. Campana
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventNuTTS 2015: 18th Numerical Towing Tank Symposium - Marstrand, Sweden
Duration: 28 Sept 201530 Sept 2015


ConferenceNuTTS 2015: 18th Numerical Towing Tank Symposium


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