UVC Light for Antifouling

Biofouling, the accumulation of biomass on submerged surfaces, has been a problem in the marine world for centuries. On the hull of ships, it creates an increase in drag, it can block water inlets for cooling or firefighting operations, and it can severely reduce the efficiency of heat exchangers. Because of this, many different technologies are in use. However, most of them have severe drawbacks, such as pollution of the environment, or a limited effectiveness when the object is stationary in the water. In this article, the authors present a novel approach, based on the use of ultraviolet (UV) light, to keep surfaces free from biofouling. The fundamental idea is to have a type of coating, which emits light outward from the surface. Experimental trials have been conducted with test samples in a number of environments, ranging from a test aquarium to open waters in various places around the world. The results are very consistent; surfaces are kept completely free from fouling for prolonged periods, regardless of location or circumstances. This is achieved at very low power levels at the surface, in the order of 1 mW of UV light per square meter. It is concluded that the fundamental principle of emitting UV light outward from a surface is a successful and promising new approach, which can possibly be applied on many different surfaces in many different application areas.


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  • Accession Number: 01639205
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 27 2017 4:10PM