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Transition Delay Using Biomimetic Fish Scale Arrays

Muthuramalingam, M., Puckert, D. K., Rist, U. & Bruecker, C. ORCID: 0000-0001-5834-3020 (2020). Transition Delay Using Biomimetic Fish Scale Arrays. Scientific Reports, 10(1), pp. 1-13. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-71434-8


Aquatic animals have developed effective strategies to reduce their body drag over a long period of time. In this work, the influence of the scales of fish on the laminar-to-turbulent transition in the boundary layer is investigated. Arrays of biomimetic fish scales in typical overlapping arrangements are placed on a flat plate in a low-turbulence laminar water channel. Transition to turbulence is triggered by controlled excitation of a Tollmien-Schlichting (TS) wave. It was found that the TS wave can be attenuated with scales on the plate which generate streamwise streaks. As a consequence, the transition location was substantially delayed in the downstream direction by 55% with respect to the uncontrolled reference case. This corresponds to a theoretical drag reduction of about 27%. We thus hypothesize that fish scales can stabilize the laminar boundary layer and prevent it from early transition, reducing friction drag. This technique can possibly be used for bio-inspired surfaces as a laminar flow control means.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2020. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit
Publisher Keywords: Aerospace engineering, fluid dynamics
Subjects: S Agriculture > SF Animal culture
T Technology
T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
SWORD Depositor:
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