A new business start-up Smart Coating Systems to be spun out
of PEL Associates R&D shows great promise as providers of
new antifouling coatings for ship hulls – a 2 ˝ billion
dollar world market (10 million in CT marinas alone).
Prototypes have been made, cost and market analysis is
promising, key suppliers have been developed, and a
potential facility has been chosen. The market is large and
readily penetrated via marinas, marine supply stores, OEMs,
and small boat owners. Other applications include
corrosion-removal from surfaces on command, defouling of
sonar domes, and periscope windows.
The concept employs specially designed coating arrays which
will release a fouled layer via triggers of directed heat
input from: electrical, acoustic or microwave energy. US
patent has been awarded last June 24, 2008 (US 7,390,560)
and another is being filed.
The method can replace or be used to advantage with heavy-metal containing antifouling
paint which is labor intensive and very unfriendly to our
environment. The fouled layer is activated, released,
collected and bagged, and taken to a safe disposal area and
disposed of in an environmentally acceptable manner.
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The method will save fuel, keep our environment cleaner, no
longer require antifouling paint which contains toxic heavy
metals as the active ingredient, will decrease the
introduction of dangerous species to our waters, and ships
will be easier to handle and maneuver.
The only competition –antifouling paint- is labor intensive,
environmentally unfriendly heavy metals, and is more costly,
and the heavy metals are being
restricted or outlawed by many state, local and national
governments including CT DEP and USA.