Hydrodynamic Drag Reduction Due to Fish Slimes

  • J. W. Hoyt


Key concepts in the hydrodynamics of drag-reducing macromolecular solution flow are reviewed with emphasis on how these phenonema could lead to more effective swimming by fish, through the utilization of the mucus or slime layer.

The drag-reducing properties of polysaccharides and other high polymers produced by bacteria, algae, and other marine organisms are presented, and some generalizations attempted as to the nature of natural exudates insofar as their friction-reducing capabilities are concerned.

Literature data on the drag-reducing properties of fish slimes are reviewed and correlated. Mechanisms involved in utilizing the slime to achieve good swimming efficiency include transition delay, and turbulent flow drag reduction, in addition to the recently discovered drag reduction in pulsed laminar flow of polymer solutions.

Both theory and experiment indicate the transient laminar shear flows show reduced wall shear stress in polymer solutions. Hence, the possibility exists that small fish with low length Reynolds numbers can utilize polymers to reduce drag, as well as the larger fish with high Reynolds numbers and turbulent flow.

Finally the available data on the chemistry of fish mucus secretions are reviewed to indicate the general macromolecular configurations involved, and comparisons made with other, better known, drag reducing polymers.


Drag Reduction Friction Reduction Turbulent Friction Kappa Carrageenan Fish Mucus 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. W. Hoyt
    • 1
  1. 1.Naval Undersea CenterSan DiegoUSA

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