Clean the Hull by Flicking a Switch

Press Release
Friday, February 01, 2013

Duke University engineers have developed a hull coating that dislodges bacteria when an electrical current is applied.

The material works by physically moving at the microscopic level, knocking the bacteria away. This avoids the use of bacteria-killing paints, which can contain heavy metals or other toxic chemicals that might accumulate in the environment and unintentionally harm fish or other marine organisms.

"We have developed a material that 'wrinkles,' or changes it surface in response to a stimulus, such as stretching or pressure or electricity," said Duke engineer Xuanhe Zhao, assistant professor in Duke's Pratt School of Engineering. "This deformation can effectively detach biofilms and other organisms that have accumulated on the surface."

The researchers tested their approach in the laboratory with simulated seawater, as well as on barnacles. These experiments were conducted in collaboration with Daniel Rittschof the Duke University Marine Lab in Beaufort, N.C.

Keeping bacteria from attaching to ship hulls or other submerged objects can prevent a larger cascade of events that can reduce performance or efficiency. Once they have taken up residence on a surface, bacteria often attract larger organisms, such as seaweed and larva of other marine organisms, such as worms, bivalves, barnacles or mussels.

The project is funded by the U.S. Office of Naval Research and the MRSEC. Other members of the Duke team are Phanindhar Shivapooja, Qiming Wang and Beatriz Orihuela.



 

Maritime Reporter March 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Technology

World's Largest Ship: Pioneering Spirit Awaits Completion

Final construction aboard the world’s largest vessel, Pioneering Spirit (formerly named Pieter Schelte), is wrapping up in the Port of Rotterdam before the vessel

Port St. John to Install KleinPort System

Klein Systems Group Ltd. announced today that it has entered into an agreement to install the KleinPort Port Management Information System at Port Saint John, New Brunswick.

ST Marine Celebrates Naming of Vessels

Singapore Technologies Marine Ltd (ST Marine), the marine arm of Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd (ST Engineering), held the Naming Ceremony today for the second Patrol Vessel (PV),

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Ship Simulators Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1124 sec (9 req/sec)