Re-Designing of Modern Propellers with Biomimetic Leading-Edge Profiles

Re-Designing of Modern Propellers with Biomimetic Leading-Edge Profiles

From left: Typical Propeller; Ducted Propeller; Computer Fan with Noise Reduction Edges; Computer Fan with Leadingedge Tubercles

As the Mother Nature always does, this time the Humpback Whale flippers indicate the potential improvements for foil-based devices,like propellers, rudders and so on. This project is to explore the application on marine propellers. This project is going to re-design, optimise and demonstrate the application on modern marine propellers. Potential application targets were identified, such as:

  • High speed propellers,
  • Controllable pitch propeller,
  • Tip loaded propellers
  • Ducted propellers
  • Etc.
These propellers are working under highly loaded conditions and suffering from flow separation, three dimensional effect and consequently loss in efficiency in off-design conditions. Especially for fishing vessels, tug boats, and offshore support vessels, these vessels need to satisfy various operating conditions particularly in trolling, bollard pull, and high performance maneuvering. Expected outcomes:
  • Improved efficiency in off-design condition;
  • Improved performance to suit flow behind hull;
  • Constrain the cavitation development;
  • Reduce the underwater radiated noise level;
  • Improved bollard pull performance
There is also ready similar application on fans, like the computer fans which is required to be more efficient and more silent.

For more information about the project contact Dr Weichao Shi (, Lecturer at the Department of Naval Architecture, Ocean and Marine Engineering at the University of Strathclyde.


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