AkzoNobel Reveals UV-Based Antifouling Tech
Coatings manufacturer AkzoNobel (Amsterdam) announced this week that it, along with Royal Philips, has developed a novel antifouling solution that uses ultraviolet LED light.
The new technology, according to AkzoNobel, integrates UV LEDs from Royal Philips—a Dutch health-care and lighting company—into a marine coating system developed by the paint company. UV light would then be emitted from the coating surface, preventing organisms from collecting on the surface.
The UV-based approach eschews the use of biocides, which have been effective in preventing fouling but have come up against health and environmental concerns. Antifouling coatings containing tributyl tin are largely banned now, and popular copper antifoulants, while still commercially common, have been subject to debate in recent years.
The project of incorporating the LED technology into coatings on ship hulls and other structures is obviously a difficult one in terms of initial effort. AkzoNobel, however, says it is expects to overcome the early challenges and predicting the new technology will “revolutionize the fouling-control industry.”
AkzoNobel says it intends to focus initially on using the new coating technology to protect ships, yachts and offshore assets.
“In our quest to not only protect and color, but also functionalize surfaces, we actively look for complementary technologies and partners to innovate with,” said AkzoNobel’s chief technology officer, Klaas Kruithof.
“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.”