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Friday, 20 September 2019
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Raw materials & technologies, Technologies, Functional coatings

Lufthansa to test shark skin inspired coatings

Monday, 4 March 2013

Airline prepares to test the durability of a novel surface paint that mimics shark skin under real-life flying conditions.

The new paint system will soon be tested on two aircraft

Source: DWP/Fotolia

The new paint system will soon be tested on two aircraft

Source: DWP/Fotolia

Shark skin-inspired coatings research is underway on dry land and could soon take flight, as German airline giant Lufthansa Technik AG prepares to test the new paint system on two jets.The novel lacquer is being applied to sections of two Airbus planes to test the durability of an aircraft surface coating that mimics shark skin under real-life flying conditions.

By altering the microstructure of the surface of an airplane, the aerodynamics can be improved, lowering the amount of energy and fuel needed, researchers said.

Lufthansa Technik AG has participated in a multifunctional coating research project since mid-2011, along with its partners, Airbus Operations; the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials in Bremen, Germany; and coating manufacturer Mankiewicz in Hamburg.

Testing for the new coatings is expected to last into the summer. The experiment is being conducted as part of Europe's Clean Sky research project.

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