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Drag force and surface roughness measurements on freshwater biofouled surfaces


Andrewartha, JM and Perkins, KJ and Sargison, JE and Osborn, JE and Walker, GJ and Henderson, AD and Hallegraeff, GM, Drag force and surface roughness measurements on freshwater biofouled surfaces, Biofouling: The Journal of Bioadhesion and Biofilm Research, 26, (4) pp. 487-496. ISSN 0892-7014 (2010) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1080/08927014.2010.482208


The detrimental effect of biofilms on skin friction for near wall flows is well known. The diatom genera Gomphonema and Tabellaria dominated the biofilm mat in the freshwater open channels of the Tarraleah Hydropower Scheme in Tasmania, Australia. A multi-faceted approach was adopted to investigate the drag penalty for biofouled 1.0 m x 0.6 m test plates which incorporated species identification, drag measurement in a recirculating water tunnel and surface characterisation using close-range photogrammetry. Increases in total drag coefficient of up to 99% were measured over clean surface values for biofouled test plates incubated under flow conditions in a hydropower canal. The effective roughness of the biofouled surfaces was found to be larger than the physical roughness; the additional energy dissipation was caused in part by the vibration of the biofilms in three-dimensions under flow conditions. The data indicate that there was a roughly linear relationship between the maximum peak-to-valley height of a biofilm and the total drag coefficient.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Engineering
Research Group:Civil engineering
Research Field:Water resources engineering
Objective Division:Energy
Objective Group:Renewable energy
Objective Field:Hydro-electric energy
UTAS Author:Andrewartha, JM (Dr Jessica Walker)
UTAS Author:Perkins, KJ (Miss Kate Perkins)
UTAS Author:Sargison, JE (Dr Jane Sargison)
UTAS Author:Osborn, JE (Dr Jon Osborn)
UTAS Author:Walker, GJ (Professor Greg Walker)
UTAS Author:Henderson, AD (Associate Professor Alan Henderson)
UTAS Author:Hallegraeff, GM (Professor Gustaaf Hallegraeff)
ID Code:63244
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:24
Deposited By:Engineering
Deposited On:2010-04-26
Last Modified:2011-03-31

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