Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A new anti-fouling principle for anti-fouling paints - almost 100 percent effective against barnacles

11.05.2009
Researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have been working with the Swedish Chemicals Inspectorate and paint manufacturers on a new, low-emission, environmental hull paint based on a new principle called Post settlement inhibition (PSI).

The paint is almost 100 percent effective in keeping barnacles away. An extension of the new principle may be to further develop paints that will be effective against all hull-fouling, without damaging marine organisms in the open water and sediment.

Most commercial anti-fouling paints contain pesticides, which slowly erode into the water, either killing off or discouraging organisms that try to attach themselves to the surface. One of the most commonly used substances is copper, which means that around 40 tonnes of copper are distributed along the Swedish west coast every year.

Researchers at the University of Gothenburg have been working in association with the Swedish Chemicals Inspectorate and paint manufacturer International Paint AB, as well as others, to develop a new principle for effective hull paints, called "post settlement inhibition", or PSI. This principle also uses pesticides, but unlike other paints that are harmful to the environment, the PSI substances are strongly associated with the paint's binding matrix agent, so that only tiny amounts are released into the marine environment. Adding a high-molecular solvent to the paint helps to channel the substance directly to the organism instead.

The paint allows the barnacles to colonise on the hull with its larva. The anti-fouling effect begins to kick in when the barnacle tries to attach itself more tightly to the surface and comes into contact with the pesticide, which causes it to release its grip (hence the term, "post settlement inhibition"). The emission of pesticide in the environment is at the same time very low. Extensive tests conducted with volunteer boat-owners reveal that the PSI principle is very effective. Barnacle colonisation is reduced by at least 90, but often up to 100 percent.

The principle has taken its inspiration from the natural world, where certain types of algae use a similar method to discourage fouling on the surface of their leaves. The new PSI paint releases negligible amounts of pesticide into the marine environment, and the amount of pesticide that is actually in the layer of paint is relatively low. When the boat is taken out of the water, the PSI paint can be scraped off and dealt with according to the procedures that are in place at most marinas.

"In the long term, we are hoping to be able to use the PSI principle to tackle fouling by other animals and algae. The ultimate goal is a marine paint formula that is effective against all kinds of fouling, but that has a negligible impact on other organisms in the marine environment," says leader of the project Professor Hans Elwing at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Gothenburg.

The breakthrough in the paint project came when researchers discovered the special solvent that is part of the PSI system. "We were very lucky to make the discovery. At the same time, it's taken us ten years of research to get where we are today. The journey has been peppered with failures, but my colleagues have also been passionate about this project, and there has been considerable enthusiasm from boat owners," says Hans Elwing.

The new PSI principle is being developed in cooperation with a research programme called MARINORD, which is being financed by NordicInnovation. The project is being sponsored by the Technical Research Institute of Sweden in Borås, and several paint companies.

For further information, please contact:
Hans Elwing, Professor in Surface Biophysics, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Gothenburg
+46 (0)733604607
Hans.Elwing@cmb.gu.se

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se/
http://www.science.gu.se/english/News/News_detail/?contentId=879806&languageId=100001&disableRedirect=true&disableRedirect=true&returnU

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Transport of molecular motors into cilia
28.03.2017 | Aarhus University

nachricht Asian dust providing key nutrients for California's giant sequoias
28.03.2017 | University of California - Riverside

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers shoot for success with simulations of laser pulse-material interactions

29.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Igniting a solar flare in the corona with lower-atmosphere kindling

29.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

As sea level rises, much of Honolulu and Waikiki vulnerable to groundwater inundation

29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>