Navigation Links
Non-toxic hull coating resists barnacles, may save ship owners millions
Date:5/28/2009

North Carolina State University engineers have created a non-toxic "wrinkled" coating for use on ship hulls that resisted buildup of troublesome barnacles during 18 months of seawater tests, a finding that could ultimately save boat owners millions of dollars in cleaning and fuel costs.

The research conducted by Dr. Kirill Efimenko, research assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and Dr. Jan Genzer, professor in the same department, shows for the first time that surface coatings containing nests of different-sized "wrinkles" are effective in preventing barnacles from firmly latching on to the coatings.

"The results are very promising," Efimenko said. "We are dealing with a very complex phenomenon. Living organisms are very adaptable to the environment, so we need to find their weakness. And this hierarchical wrinkled topography seems to do the trick."

Researchers created the coatings by stretching a rubber sheet, applying an ultra-violet ozone treatment to it, and then relieving the tension, causing five generations of "wrinkles" to form concurrently. The coatings were further covered with an ultra-thin layer of semifluorinated material. During ocean tests performed in Wilmington, N.C., the wrinkled materials remained free of barnacles after 18 months of seawater exposure, while flat coatings with the same chemical composition showed barnacle buildup after just one month in seawater.

Engineers and scientists have strived for decades to uncover ways to keep barnacles off ship hulls. Barnacle colonization on a ship bottom increases the ship's "drag" in the water, forcing the engine to burn more fuel to maintain the same speed. After six months in the water, a ship's fuel consumption increases substantially, Efimenko said. That costs ship owners including the military plenty of extra cash.

"It's like running your air conditioner with the windows open," Genzer said.

Barnacle buildup also forces owners to remove ships from the water and place them on dry docks for cleaning. This expensive procedure costs ships valuable time at sea when they could be making money.

For many years, ship owners fought barnacles by coating their hulls with toxic substances that resisted barnacle buildup. But those substances killed fish and other marine life in harbors, causing governments around the world to ban ships from using them.

That led to increased interest in endowing the ship coatings with wrinkled topographies. The coatings share traits with surfaces found in nature, where rough surfaces such as shark skin generally stay free of debris buildup. In contrast, other marine species, such as whales, have smooth skin but often carry barnacles as unwanted hitchhikers.


'/>"/>

Contact: Nate DeGraff
nate_degraff@ncsu.edu
919-515-3848
North Carolina State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Pitt researchers create non-toxic clean-up method for potentially toxic nano materials
2. Corrosion-inhibiting coatings containing good bacteria
3. University researchers to develop coatings that kill superbugs
4. Ultra-fine coatings on sediment grains influence nitrate and sulfate storage in soil
5. New polymer coatings prevent corrosion, even when scratched
6. Nanoscale coating protect products -- and the economy
7. Coating copies microscopic biological surfaces
8. Coating improves electrical stimulation therapy used for Parkinsons, depression, chronic pain
9. Candy-coating keeps proteins sweet
10. Dog owners more likely to share germs with pets by not washing hands than by sleeping with dog
11. Stem cell research to benefit horse owners and trainers
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/29/2016)... Nov. 29, 2016   Neurotechnology , ... object recognition technologies, today released FingerCell 3.0, ... recognition solutions that run on low-power, low-memory ... using less than 128KB of memory, enabling ... that have limited on-board resources, such as: ...
(Date:11/24/2016)... 2016 Cercacor today introduced Ember TM ... non-invasively measure hemoglobin, Oxygen Content, Oxygen Saturation, ... Rate in approximately 30 seconds. Smaller than a smartphone, ... access to key data about their bodies to help ... Hemoglobin carries oxygen to muscles. When ...
(Date:11/21/2016)... 21, 2016   Neurotechnology , a provider ... today announced that the MegaMatcher On Card fingerprint ... for the NIST Minutiae Interoperability Exchange (MINEX) ... mandatory steps of the evaluation protocol. ... test of fingerprint templates used to establish compliance ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/9/2016)... New York , December 9, 2016 ... states that the top five players in the  Global ... 62.7% in the overall market in 2015. Players such ... Perkin Elmer have remained dominant in the global market ... efforts to ensure product innovation. Product upgrades and timely ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... 8, 2016  The Board of Directors of the ... Western Pennsylvania,s only pure life sciences investment ... with the succession plan developed by the Nominating and ... James (Jim) F. Jordan is selected to ... John W. Manzetti , who is elected to the ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , December 8, 2016 AskLinkerReports.com ... comprehensive analysis, titled Global Amyloglucosidase Industry 2016 Market Research Report. ... application, and industry chain overview are all covered in the ... analysis, and investment return analysis of the Amyloglucosidase industry. ... , , ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... the FrontPanel SDK that provide essential device-to-computer interconnect using USB or PCI Express, ... require FrontPanel support. The FOMD-ACV-A4 is a small, thin, SODIMM-style module that fits ...
Breaking Biology Technology: