Pieter Maljaars

Background and main objective

Higher efficiencies, higher cavitation inception speeds and reduced acoustic signature are

claimed benefits of flexible composite propellers. Calculating the hydrodynamic performance of these flexible propellers, implies that a coupled fluid-structure interaction computation has to be performed. Generally, the design process of propellers is solving a complex design problem with conflicting design objectives. In case of flexible composite propellers the additional ability to tailor the stiffness of the propeller expands the design space, allowing to improve the propeller design with respect to efficiency, cavitation inception and acoustic signature.

The main objective of the GreenProp project is to develop a validated tool to perform fluid-structure interaction computations in order to calculate the hydrodynamic performance and structural response of flexible composite propellers operating in uniform and non-uniform wakefields.

The following objectives are formulated for the GreenProp project:

  • Development of a full unsteady hydro-elastic coupling capable of analysing flexible composite propellers in uniform and non-uniform flow.
  • Validation of the hydro-elastic coupling by model scale experiments in uniform and non-uniform flow as well as by full scale experiments.
  • Development of a design process for a flexible composite propeller with improved efficiency and cavitation inception characteristics.
  • Development of a method for the determination of fatigue limits for flexible composite propellers.


The 4-year project is funded by NWO-TTW and several industrial partners: