Marine Fouling Prevention Solution Using UV-LED Technology

The fouling prevention technology, which can be applied to panels, utilizes ultraviolet light-emitting diodes (UV-LED) in a protective coating scheme. Image courtesy of AkzoNobel.

Paints and coatings manufacturer AkzoNobel (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) is developing a fouling prevention technology using ultraviolet light-emitting diodes (UV-LED) for the hulls of ships and boats.

The pioneering solution, which uses technology from Royal Philips (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), will be applied to underwater surfaces to eliminate fouling growth. By combining the manufacturer’s surface protection and adhesion knowledge with the technology group’s capabilities and intellectual property in UV-LED lighting and electronics, the companies are aiming to present an economical solution for underwater fouling prevention.

The innovation will integrate UV light-emitting diodes in a protective coating scheme, allowing for the UV light to be emitted from the coating surface. In turn, this provides total prevention of biofouling accumulation on the surface of the protected area. The fully biocide-free solution will offer complete fouling prevention, the companies explain.

“In our sustainable fouling control initiative, we actively explore and develop alternatives to biocidal-based solutions,” says Oscar Wezenbeek, director of AkzoNobel’s marine and protective coatings business.

Initially, the focus will be on applications for ships, yachts, and offshore assets. But beyond those assets, the project could potentially be extended to include other surfaces challenged by biofouling issues.

“In our quest to not only protect and color, but also functionalize surfaces, we actively look for complementary technologies and partners to innovate with,” says Klaas Kruithof, chief technology officer. “In this case, the combined capabilities and technology will enable us to accelerate the realization of this transformative innovation, which we intend to initially market ourselves and consider licensing out to third parties for large-scale adoption.”

Source: AkzoNobel,