Hot Bodies (Ship Bodies, That Is) Make Vessels Slice Through Water With Ease

Illustration for article titled Hot Bodies (Ship Bodies, That Is) Make Vessels Slice Through Water With Ease

It'd be great if the Australian university's research in this field could also be applied to human bodies, so we could shave a few important seconds from our lap-times just by raising our temperatures.

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Together with the King Abdulla University of Science and Technology unit, the University of Melbourne found that the Leidenfrost effect (a 255-year-old observation that tests the heat of something by putting it in contact with liquid) is very much relevant to the way ships pass through water. Basically, the hotter the ship, the less drag.

This could impact the way ships are made in the future, plus also reduce energy costs. There's still a lot more work to be done before this notion is actually applied (such as the long-term effects of applied heat on the materials) but in years to come, the research will hopefully help ships get to their destinations faster, and more eco-friendlier. [Eureka]

Image Credit: Alfstorm

DISCUSSION

almightywhacko-old
Almightywhacko

Generally you cool something hot by placing it in water.

How would you possibly keep the hull of a ship that is partially submerged in the ocean hot enough that the Leidenfrost effect would provide any benefit? At least, how do you do it and not expend more energy than you would if you just pushed the engines a little harder?