Tech File: Smart Protective Coatings Project
“We are working on technology that will not only advance green technologies used in the ocean but also protect Canada’s marine ecosystem for years to come,” says Mo AlGermozi, CEO of Graphite Innovation and Technologies (GIT).
The company is partnering with marine services company Horizon Maritime Services and research group Mitacs for the $4.6 million Smart Protective Coatings Project, which aims to introduce new graphene-based protective coating products for vessels. Canada’s Ocean Supercluster is providing $2.2 million in funding with the balance coming from industry partners.
GIT’s graphene-based technology provides nontoxic protection and is specifically tailored to increase vessel fuel efficiency and hydrodynamic performance by protecting against biofouling and corrosion. It is also engineered to help reduce underwater radiant noise.
Among other advantages, the biocide-free hard foul release type coating’s low volatile organic content (VOC) minimizes the loss of material once the coating dries. And due to the hardness of the coating it can easily undergo underwater hull cleanings without damage to structural integrity, enabling smoother and faster hull maintenance.
“The future of underwater marine coatings is driven by decreased marine pollution and increasing the energy efficiency of ships,” said Dr. Marciel Gaier, GIT’s CTO. “Our project will support this future, with the end goal of helping to position the marine and global shipping industries in an environmental leadership position while, in parallel, reducing operating costs.”
Lloyd’s Register will oversee and provide independent assessments under the Smart Protective Coatings Project, which will include a pilot production to supply quantities for demonstration and initial commercialization of LR-certified products.
John Hepburn, CEO and Scientific Director, Mitacs, said, “Thanks to the ongoing support of our partners, especially the government of Canada, Mitacs is able to accelerate innovative projects like Smart Protective Coatings. This initiative will provide great opportunities for GIT to train up their future R&D leaders with PhD and master’s researchers.”
Sean Leet, CEO, Horizon Maritime, said, “Having worked with GIT for over two years now, we are excited to be part of launching this OSC project and supporting the next phase of GIT’s development. Our shared goal of reducing the environmental impact of commercial marine activities in our oceans is of paramount importance and we appreciate the opportunity to be on the leading edge of this transformational project.”