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Keeping ship hulls free of marine organisms
Date:12/6/2012

d by electrically conductive particles. To achieve an adequate distribution of the electrolysis current a highly conductive interlayer was applied. In a preprogrammed and optimized electrochemical process the electrolysis current is periodically commutated and interrupted. A current density of lower than 0,2 mAcm-2 generates enough pH stress near the surface of the hull to prevent the growing on of any barnacles, shells and algae The electric current is supplied by a photovoltaic module or by the land based power grid.

The electrochemical antifouling by alternating pH values was developed and patented by the project partner bioplan GmbH. This principle is working effectively and independently of marine flora and the kind of sea water. "With the coating development in the GANaS project we are on the way to a practical solution", says Fting.

With their development Fting and colleagues are primarily looking at official ships, such as oil spill ships or fireboats: These are in port most of the time, but must be ready for deployment as soon as they are required. "A ship with a heavy amount of growth will no longer be able to attain the speed it requires to quickly reach the location where it is needed", says Fting as food for thought.

Tests with the first prototypes at the Barth shipyard were promising: differently coated and electrochemically active and passive large areas are currently tested to prove their long-term stability against hydrodynamic stress and efficiency to prevent adherence and growth of bio layers. To achieve the real applicability of an economically competitive and ecofriendly antifouling system follow-up projects are planned: "They will mainly involve improving the technical applicability and optimization of our electrochemical antifouling system, which then could be applied on ship hulls for at least 3 to 5 years", states Fting.


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Contact: Manfred Fting
manfred.fueting@iwmh.fraunhofer.de
49-345-558-9120
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

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