This study investigates the effects of changes in flow speed and angle of attack on drag and lift forces on nets with bending stiffness. Today most fish cage nets are made from nylon, but new cage materials are proposed in order to improve the stability of cages in currents and waves, to reduce biofouling, prevent escapes, and to secure fish from predator attacks. The use of some of these materials leads to nets with bending stiffness in at least one direction. However, not much is known about the performance of such nets in currents and waves. In this study, three different nets with bending stiffness were tested together with nylon nets. Net panels were subjected to different flow speeds at different angles between flow direction and net plane, and the forces on the nets were measured with a multi-axis force/torque sensor system. Based on the experiments, drag, and lift coefficients were determined for the different net materials and compared to existing theory with which they are in reasonably good agreement for the nets with low solidity. However, for nets with higher solidity the results are significantly lower than the drag and lift coefficients provided other authors. Also, the change of drag coefficient with changing flow speed and angle of attack was different for a monofilament and a multifilament net with similar solidity and aperture form and size. These differences may partly be due to differences in twine structures and net construction between the monofilament and multifilament net and between nets used by other authors and in the present study.

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