Speaker: Michael J Dvorchak, Dvorchak Enterprises LLC
This webinar reports on the successful proof of concept demonstration of the MicroTau Direct Contactless Microfabrication (DCM) technology for the application of drag reducing riblet microstructures. The DCM technology is designed to be a fast, low-cost, scalable and durable method of directly applying riblets onto an external aircraft surface. Panels produced using the DCM method reliably exhibited a 6-7% viscous drag reduction in wind tunnel testing. We also successfully fabricated novel 3D riblet microstructure designs, confirming the ‘single exposure 3D printing’ capability of the DCM technology. Ongoing is the development of the coating system from which the riblets are fabricated to meet U.S. Air Force (USAF) operational and durability requirements as well as optimization of the optical system for compatibility with a hangar environment. This will be followed by an investigation into automatic applicators to translate the system across the aircraft’s surface.