Biofouling and Design of a Biomimetic Hull-Grooming Tool
Final rept. 18 Jun-14 Sep 2007
NAVAL SURFACE WARFARE CENTER CARDEROCK DIV BETHESDA MD
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Biofouling, the accumulation of biological detritus on a hard substrate, has plagued the United Navy. Fouling causes increased hydrodynamic drag, resulting in increased fuel consumption and decreased speed and range. The purpose of this investigation was to research the formation of fouling, mechanisms of prevention, and tools for its removal. The Navy currently uses a copper-based antifouling coating that releases copper into the water, killing the fouling organisms. There is new research in biomimetic polymers that deter fouling, but are non-toxic. These polymers are rigidly attached to the hull surface extending their lifetime. Removal mechanisms have included water jets and abrasive brushes, yet no tool has concentrated on grooming the hull to remove the initial layer of microfouling. Removing the initial layer will deter the development of macrofouling, such as barnacles, which are more difficult to remove. The mechanisms that marine animals use to de-foul themselves were also examined and several concepts for a biomimetic hull-grooming tool were developed. These tools include novel brush designs in addition, ultraviolet light was explored as another tool to remove microfouling.
- Machinery and Tools
- Marine Engineering