Wageningen is the name of a town in the Netherlands where the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN) is based. The Institute was founded in 1929, in part by the Dutch government and in part by the maritime industry. It is still thriving to this day with an astonishing annual turnover of 33 million euros. Seeing as 85% of this turnover comes from the commercial maritime market, the propeller manufacturing of the Wageningen B- Series is one of the reasons for this success.
The Wageningen B-Series was created by the engineer, L. Troost in 1937 and is still sometimes referred to as the Troost Series. Since then, the propeller series has been refined and improved over the years at MARIN, an institute that has led the way in terms of improvements in powering offshore performance. The list of facilities developed and used to deliver these improvements is impressive: in 1951, a Deep Water Towing Tank was built, followed by a Shallow Water Basin in 1958; in 1965, these laboratories were complimented by a High Speed Basin.
Most interestingly for the development of the propeller series however, was the creation of a Cavitation Tunnel in 1979. A cavitation tunnel is basically a water tunnel, but with the right conditions for cavitation to occur. Cavitation happens when spinning propellers reduce the level of water pressure to the point that it vaporizes and forms bubbles of gas; the collapse of these bubbles sends shock-waves and can cause serious damage to the blades. As you can imagine, having the facilities to test the Wageningen B-Series in these conditions gave the propeller somewhat of an edge over contemporary designs. You can see what a cavitation tunnel looks like and read more about the exact specifications of what it can test by visiting the Cavitation Tunnel page on the MARIN website.
Today, the Wageningen B-Series is one of the most popular propeller designs around. At Eris Propellers we manufacture and provide 2, 3, 4 and 5 bladed Wageningen type propellers, from 100mm to 250mm diameter. We also offer Kaplan and Gawn type propellers—why not subscribe to our blog to read the histories of these of series at a later date?