APV Engineered Coatings (Akron, Ohio, USA) is developing an experimental marine coating that would prevent damage caused by barnacle and zebra mussel fouling while also reducing maintenance costs and environmental effects. This new antifouling coating is based on the Marine Organism Sensory Interference (MOSI) concept, which utilizes a unique coating technology that “tricks” juvenile barnacles into creating a type of adhesive that does not allow itself to attach to ship hulls and other marine assets.
Many conventional antifouling coatings, or “bottom paints,” prevent biofouling caused by the accumulation of marine organisms on wetted pipes and underwater surfaces. However, such bottom paints have their limitations. For one, they must be replaced on an annual basis, resulting in both material and labor costs. For another, they contain copper compounds that are harmful to shell fish and other marine life found on the bottom of ports and moorings.
By contrast, the MOSI antifouling concept would be non-ablative, which means that it would not slough off a ship’s hull with the barnacles and other aquatic organisms already attached. Instead, this new antifouling coating would interfere with the sensory abilities of barnacles, thereby rendering them unable to adhere to underwater surfaces.
Currently, this MOSI antifouling coating is in the experimental stage, but APV says its ultimate goal is to manufacture a version of this coating for the commercial market.
Source: APV Engineered Coatings, www.apvcoatings.com.