New technology for an old problem
Blocksil is at the forefront of coating technology and chemistry.
An exciting area we are working on is an anti-fouling coating that is kind to the environment but that actually works!
Biofouling is the accumulation of micro-organisms, plants, algae or animals on to wet surfaces.
Anti-fouling is the ability of specifically designed materials and coatings to remove or prevent biofouling. Since biofouling can occur almost anywhere water is present, biofouling poses risks to a wide variety of industries. For example, paper manufacturing, underwater construction, shipping and desalination plants. Shipping suffers the most economically since fouling on a ship’s hull significantly increases drag which reduces the overall hydrodynamic performance of the vessel. This in turn increases fuel consumption.
Over time, the accumulation of biofouling on hulls can increase drag up to 60%. The additional drag can decrease speeds up to 10%, which can require up to a 40% increase in fuel to compensate. If one takes the assumption that fuel typically comprises up to half of marine transport costs, biofouling is estimated to cost the worldwide shipping industry around $1 billion per year.
And of course increased fuel use contributes to adverse environmental effects and is predicted to increase emissions of greenhouse gases by up to 72% by 2020 (M. Salta et al, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, 2008).
It has been estimated that almost $6 billion is spent annually to prevent and control marine biofouling across all industries.
Blocksil’s new anti-fouling coating is a near transparent coating that can be rollered or sprayed on. It is currently going through the EU approvals process though the active biocide has already been approved. At this time we are coating small boats and components on larger boats to build up a performance record.