A rational approach to predicting the effect of fouling control systems on 'in-service' ship performance

M. Atlar, I.A. Yeginbayeva, S. Turkmen, Y.K. Demirel, A. Carchen, A. Marino, D. Williams

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This paper reviews two decades of bridging the gap between laboratory measurements and predicting the performance of commercial maritime vessels and presents a rational approach, which is based on the combination of an experimental and a computational procedure, to predict the effects of modernday fouling control systems on "in-service" ship performance. Here the word "rational" reflects ship hull (and propeller) conditions as well as the approach to predicting the effect of the hull coating systems under such conditions. The proposed approach arguably provides a full solution to the complex ship performance problem. It is “rational” in terms of tackling the main features of modernday hull coating systems with the aid of bespoke experimental testing facilities and state-of-the-art computational methods. The proposed approach is generic and can be applied to any ship type and hull coating system in the presence of biofouling and it may even be combined with passive drag reduction systems. This approach involves both the combination of experimental data from flat test panels treated with representative surface finishes and extrapolation of this data to full-scale. However, for more accurate and direct estimation of performance prediction at full-scale, the extrapolation procedure needs to be replaced with Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) methods, especially for deteriorated hull surfaces due to fouling; at present, such experimental data are still required. The rational nature and hence strength of the proposed approach is to represent the effect of the actual hull surfaces "in-service" by using state-of-the art experimental methods and data. This provides the option of an extrapolation procedure for practical performance estimations and also enables the use of CFD methods by avoiding the most difficult barrier of describing the actual hull surface numerically in CFD. Validation of the proposed approach requires full-scale data to be collected using a bespoke ship performance monitoring and analysis system which is dedicated to assessing the effect of coating systems in the presence of fouling. Such a system is under development as detailed in an accompanying presentation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-36
Number of pages32
JournalGMO Journal of Ship and Marine Technology
Issue number213
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2018


  • marine coatings
  • coating/fouling hydrodynamics
  • biomimetics
  • fouling control system
  • antifouling coating
  • biofouling
  • drag reduction
  • ship performance
  • CFD method
  • fluid dynamics


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