When scientists explored the Arctic regions they were fascinated by the Inuit boats because of the high speed and maneuverability. They studied the boats, and discovered that the Inuit used flexible materials and that the boats therefore experienced less drag forces - they smoothly glided through water.
In this work, we sought to combine the Inuit?s boat design with the Fin Ray® effect. Our objective was to install a flexible stern (using a Fin Ray®) on a paddle boat. We used a down-scaled boat model to study the forces acting on different prototypes in a water channel. We therefore made a dimensional analysis to guarantee similarity between the prototype and the original boat. Elastomers with various flexibilities were used for the stern construction. In the experiments conducted in the water channel we determined the forces acting on the boat with different stern models, ranging from a stiff to a highly flexible model with a shore hardness of 00-30.
The results show that the flexible stern damps the lateral boat movement and hence could enhance the speed of the boat.
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6th International Conference of Bionic Engineering
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Aufsatz / Paper in Online-Archiv (nicht-referiert)