Our laboratory is interested in the problems of fluid-solid interactions, with complex boundary conditions, and geometries. Inspired by natural textured surfaces such as skin of fast swimming sharks, scales on butterfly skins, ridges on the moth of pitcher plants, we study the effect of two- and three-dimensional textures of various scales on the fluid flow and aim to provide design criteria for fabrication of energy efficient textured surfaces.
Majority of natural surfaces are packed with different forms of textures. Such textures come in periodic and random forms, covering the flexible skin of the respective species. The non-smooth skin of plants and animals offer different forms of functionalities to these species; the rib-like structure of the micro-scale denticles of fast swimming shark species allows hem to swim faster than other marine animals; the hierarchical structure of lotus leaves are well-knwon for their super-hydrophobicity and self-cleaning; the scales on butterfly wings are known to create a form of anisotropy, limiting the rolling direction of water droplets. In addition to the textures, the elastic compliance of the flexible skin underneath these textures and its deformation during maneouver, gives rise to intricate flow fields around these natural bodies.
We employ state of the art fabrication techniques ranging from CNC maching, 3D printing, and soft materials to create simplified laboratory size experimets to study the multi-physical problems in both internal and external flows.