3M Reveals Successful Collaboration with BMW Oracle for 33rd America’s Cup Match
[Source: 3M] 3M today announced its successful collaboration with BMW ORACLE Racing as an Official Supplier for the 33rd America’s Cup Match in Valencia, Spain.
Brian Winke, 3M Marine global business manager, explained that, “3M has incorporated new technology advancements into 3M Drag Reduction Riblet Film. We can now more accurately design the most appropriate riblet film for each application according to the unique fluid dynamics requirements, resulting in more efficient energy use.”
3M Drag Reduction Riblet Film is based on the microreplication technology that 3M has utilized effectively in several industrial applications since Dennis Conner’s successful America’s Cup challenge in 1987.
“3M supported the last US team to challenge and win the America’s Cup and is proud to have supported Golden Gate Yacht Club’s victory some 23 years later,” added Winke.
Based on many published research studies, 3M says that the film can provide improvement in drag reduction in a passive manner for high speed vessels, without adding significant weight or complexity.
Manolo Ruiz de Elvira, BMW ORACLE Racing design team member, said, “The 3M technology makes an already fast boat even faster. Our hulls were more slippery and therefore moved more efficiently through the water than ever before.”
Winke adds that, “The use of 3M’s Riblet Film and other friction-reducing methods are not normally allowed under the sailing rules due to what was perceived as an unfair advantage. That position has recently been changed, enabling BMW ORACLE Racing to take full advantage of an existing and proven technology with which the sailing community is already familiar.”
3M’s Winke explains that, although riblet films are not available for sale at this time, 3M has the technology to develop and custom-manufacture specialized riblet films to achieve enhanced drag reduction performance for many product applications including marine and wind turbine blades.