The air cavity formation resulting from the water-entry of solid objects has been the subject of extensive research due to its application in various fields such as biology, marine vehicles, sports and oil and gas industries. Recently we demonstrated that at certain conditions following the closing of the air cavity formed by the initial impact of a superhydrophobic sphere on a free water surface a stable streamlined shape air cavity can remain attached to the sphere. The formation of superhydrophobic sphere and attached air cavity reaches a steady state during the free fall. In this thesis we further explore this novel phenomenon to quantify the drag on streamlined shape cavities. The drag on the sphere-cavity formation is then compared with the drag on solid projectile which were designed to have self-similar shape to that of the cavity. The solid projectiles of adjustable weight were produced using 3D printing technique. In a set of experiments on the free fall of projectile we determined the variation of projectiles drag coefficient as a function of the projectiles length to diameter ratio and the projectiles specific weight, covering a range of intermediate Reynolds number, Re ~ 104 – 105 which are characteristic for our streamlined cavity experiments. Parallel free fall experiment with sphere attached streamlined air cavity and projectile of the same shape and effective weight clearly demonstrated the drag reduction effect due to the stress-free boundary condition at cavity liquid interface. The streamlined cavity experiments can be used as the upper bound estimate of the drag reduction by air layers naturally sustained on superhydrophobic surfaces in contact with water. In the final part of the thesis we design an experiment to test the drag reduction capacity of robust superhydrophobic coatings deposited on the surface of various model vessels.
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|KAUST Research Repository