Antifouling Tech Being Tested in FL


Nanoporous material manufacturer Svenska Aerogel recently announced that their technology for antifouling paints, SeaQare, is being tested in Florida to demonstrate its efficacy in a different geographical and environmental context.

According to the company's release, the program utilizes static immersion testing, the same test used in previous Swedish tests, exposing materials and coatings to biofouling in a seawater environment. 

More About the Testing

According to Svenska Aerogel, SeaQare has previously shown “remarkable” results in two independent static ocean tests carried out in Sweden. Now, the company is reportedly expanding their testing to international waters.

The research reportedly uses test panels mounted on PVC frames, which will be monitored and studied over several months. Additionally, Svenska stated that the panels will be compared with industry standards, as well as coatings that are readily available in the U.S. market.

“As we venture into the Florida ocean test, we are proud of the positive and sustainable effect that SeaQare has already demonstrated in Sweden,” said Pernilla Ståhle, head of research and development at Svenska Aerogel. “This time, we will be able to study the extraordinary biofouling resistance or coating alternation in a completely different environment as well as in different types of coating formulas.”

Before being shipped to the U.S., the test panels were reportedly coated in antifouling paint containing SeaQare by Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE) in Borås. According to the release, two separate paint formulations were used this time in addition to “various optimized” formulations of SeaQare.

Once the panels reached the U.S. in mid-May, they were reportedly immersed in Port Caneveral by experts from the center for Corrosion and Biofouling Control, a part of the Florida Institute of Technology. Svenska states that the panels will be inspected every two months until September, when the test ends. The first evaluation was reportedly already scheduled for mid-July at the time of the release.

Additionally, while the company continues their expanded testing of SeaQare, Svenska Aerogel is also continuing with its patent application for the SeaQare. According to the release, the company had submitted a PCT application this month.

Previous SeaQar News

In October 2022, Svenska presented SeaQare, a product that can be used in antifouling paints to reduce copper toxicity in the ocean. SeaQare was reportedly based on an amorphous, porous silica (Quartzene), which is hydrophilic and contains copper.

According to the company’s release, SeaQare acts as a carrier of copper in antifouling paints, contributing to a controlled release of copper into the water. This allows copper to be used more efficiently than in traditional antifouling paints, avoiding unnecessary copper toxicity in the water.

The product was reportedly presented at the 2022 International Antifouling Conference in, Sweden, by Pernilla Ståhle.

“The new product was well received; several important market players showed great interest in the lowest release rate they had ever seen,” Ståhle said. “This means that SeaQare does not release more copper into the sea than is necessary to obtain the desired protection against fouling.”

Tested by the Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE) between June 2021 and October 2021, an antifouling paint containing SeaQare was compared to commercial antifouling paints on the market and were applied to PMMA panels. The panels were then randomly attached to an aluminum frame which was placed at the Kristineberg Center on the Swedish west coast.

The first inspection was reportedly made after two months, while the second was made after four months. Fouling was then documented at both inspections.

Svenska reported that the results showed that the paint containing SeaQare released significantly less and more even copper levels than the other paints. Competing paints caused a large release of copper, which later decreased to a steady state level. SeaQare reportedly showed an initial release that was one-tenth as large as the normal release after a week of testing.

According to the company, the test was then repeated on the Swedish west coast. Continued testing with the product was reportedly expected to be conducted in North America waters in 2023

“With SeaQare, we have shown that we can provide high efficacy while having a minimal amount of copper in the paint,” said Ståhle. “This is done by incorporating copper into the Quartzene’s structure, which consists of nano-sized pores with an enormous internal surface area.”


Tagged categories: Antifoulants; Asia Pacific; Coating Application; Coating Materials; Coatings; Coatings Technology; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Environmental Controls; Latin America; Marine Coatings; North America; Research; Ships and vessels; Sustainability; Svenska Aerogel; Z-Continents

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