AkzoNobel to Develop UV-LED-based Antifouling Technology for Ships and Boats

Dutch chemical company, AkzoNobel plans to develop a fouling prevention technology which utilizes ultraviolet UV-LED technology from Royal Philips. The UV-LED-based solution will be applied to underwater surfaces of marine vessels to eliminate fouling growth. Together, the two companies are aiming to develop an economically viable solution for underwater fouling prevention.

The innovation will integrate UV LEDs in a protective coating scheme that will enable UV light emission from the coating surface.
The goal of the solution is to prevent biofouling buildup on the surface of the protected area. The fully biocide-free fouling preventative will be applied to the hulls of ships and boats. According to AkzoNobel, achieving the total control of biofouling would bring substantial economic and environmental benefit, and the new technology would have a considerable impact on vessel owners and operators.

“In our Sustainable Fouling Control initiative, we actively explore and develop alternatives to biocidal-based solutions,” said Oscar Wezenbeek, director of AkzoNobel Marine and Protective Coatings. “This development is a great proof point of our continuous focus on delivering eco-friendly solutions to our customers.”

AkzoNobel Created First Biocide-free Antifouling Coating

AkzoNobel points out that the company introduced the industry’s first biocide-free antifouling coating, Intersleek, in 1996. Intersleek has since helped ship owners to save over $3 billion in estimated fuel costs.

Despite the complexity of this project, AkzoNobel expects to develop the new technology which the company says will completely transform the fouling control industry. Initially, AkzoNobel is targeting applications for ships, yachts and offshore assets, but the company envisions extending the technology to solve bio-fouling issues on other surfaces.

“This unique project is fully aligned with AkzoNobel’s continuous focus on innovation,” explained Klaas Kruithof, AkzoNobel’s Chief Technology Officer. “In our quest to not only protect and color but also functionalize surfaces, we actively look for complementary technologies and partners to innovate with. In this case, the combined capabilities and technology of Royal Philips and AkzoNobel will enable us to accelerate the realization of this transformative innovation, which we intend to initially market ourselves and consider licensing out to third parties for large-scale adoption.”

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