The worldwide quest for nontoxic, low-drag, underwater marine coatings has two formidable new entrants.
A leading marine coatings company and bio-based additives company will combine their technologies in a joint venture to develop exterior marine coatings for submersed hull surfaces and stationary structures.
Smithsonian Institution / Marine Invasions Research Lab
|Metal hulls, anti-fouling paints, faster ship speeds and shorter port residency times have all helped reduce hull fouling, but increased shipping has offset many of those gains, authorities say. Fouling costs private and military ship owners and operators millions of dollars each year in increased fuel costs.|
The partnership will team up Advanced Polymer Coatings, of Avon, OH, and Reactive Surfaces Ltd., based in Austin, TX, according to a Letter of Intent announced last week.
Advanced Polymer manufactures ChemLine and MarineLine, coatings for marine superstructures and tanks. MarineLine is a polymer-based coating/lining system used to protect maritime chemical and product tankers. The new venture will bring the company into the market for coatings for submersed surfaces.
Reactive Surfaces employs proprietary enzyme and peptide technology to manufacture bioengineered functional coatings additives. The company’s products include the self-degreasing DeGreez, self-decontaminating OPDtox, and antimicrobial ProteCoat.
Giving Ships the Slip
The joint venture plans to develop environmentally benign, bio-based, functional marine coatings that will use “surface-modifying additives designed to meet or exceed efficacy of current marine coatings,” the companies said in a release.
The new venture hopes to reach the rapidly growing global market for non-toxic, low-drag underwater vessel surfaces that increase “slip” through the water.
“This new generation of exterior underwater coatings we will develop will expand our offering to the marine industry,” said Donald J. Keehan, chairman of Advanced Polymer Coatings. He said the venture would introduce Reactive Sciences’ “natural biomaterials such as proteins and peptides” into the coatings
The partners will test a number of different bio-based additives in a variety of polymer systems and a range of marine environments, simulating both stationary structures and underway surfaces. On-ship testing is expected to begin within a year.
Dr. C. Steven McDaniel, Managing Partner and Chief Innovation Officer of Surface Technologies, said that non-toxic, renewable biomaterials “provide an enormous resource of functional additives.”
He added: “By focusing on the unique and specific binding properties of these biomolecules, our bio-based additives create an innovative function to coatings systems called ‘recharge-ability.’ By being able to change or renew functionality without recoating, a new effective dimension is added to the coated marine surface.”