12Dec2017Headlines:

Bottom Painting A Boat

The hull of the ship is exposed to the sea water and this leads to rusting and decay in the hull. The rusting of the hull reduces its efficiency. The paint of the hull comes out and the metal is exposed. The sea water is very salty as a result the corrosion is very high. From time to time the hull has to be painted in order to maintain its efficiency. The basic technology is usually not much different whether we are talking about bottom painting a boat or hull coating of a big ship. Let us find out how with modern technology the deterioration of the hull can be reduced.

Bottom painting boat hull

Bottom painting boat hull

The New Paint

The new paint is not only paint but it is a material in itself. That can be applied to the hull and to all the parts of the ship that are exposed to the sea. With the use of this material the ships can ensure that the growth of bacteria is reduced to a significant extent. This will also ensure that the marine growth on the ship is to the minimal. As a result the hull of the ship will be safer for a longer duration and also prevent bio fouling. All these benefits put together will make the ship more efficient. This material has been tested in the labs and has proved to be highly effective till date.

This new hull coating material will increase the number of years for which the ships can be in service. The ships are generally disposed of due to the excessive corrosion. However with the help of this technology this rate of corrosion can be reduced. It has been noted that when the paint of the hull goes off, a type of bacteria are formed on it. This bacterium slowly attracts micro organisms. These sea organisms that the bacterium attracts, often leads to the fast degradation of the metal.

The various organisms are sea weed, worms, mussels, etc. These organisms reduce the resistance of the hull as a result the efficiency suffers. This also reduces the energy of the ship. This layer is also called the bacterial film. The first step should be to avoid the accumulation of the film itself. In doing so we will have to ensure that the hull is coated with a material that will not allow the accumulation of the bacteria at all. As a result no organism will form. This will give a longer life to the hull and the ship.

The biggest challenge was how to make a coat that can actually protect the hull. Gabriel Lopez who is the professor in the biomedical department of Duke University states that prevention is the best cure when it comes to hull erosion. The team came up with a material that can actually achieve this. The Duke University engineers have actually designed this material. This material works by physically moving the microscopic level of the hull. As a result the bacteria are removed from the hull without using any toxic substances. The team of Duke University said that the material that they have designed is unique. It automatically wrinkles and changes its surface when the environment around changes. Any stretching, pressure or electrical changes in the water around the hull can change the surface as a result the hull will not get eroded easily. The material is very sensitive to all these changes in the stimuli around the hull.

The wrinkle that is caused on the surface can easily ensure that any deformation or other organisms on the surface is removed. This wrinkle ensures that the organism cannot do much harm to the body of the hull. The engineers say that nature often creates a bio film that will reduce the impact of the sea water on a surface. The engineers in the Duke University have just tried to re create this phenomenon. The best example to prove this engineering of nature is the cilia. This is a hair like structure that forms on various surfaces. These are found in lungs and in the nose.

They ensure that any unwanted particle is removed from the air that we breathe in. This is the same particle that is used by corals and molluscs to keep their surface clean. This was how the team was inspired to create the material that can protect the hull. They thought why we cannot have a material that will avoid the entry of any unwanted substance to the surface of the hull. This is exactly how the concept of this hull coating material came up.

The hull coating material works on the same principle. It avoids any unwanted material to get to the surface of the hull. It changes its texture with the external factors. This leads to the surface of the hull being protected. Once the material was made it was tested in the laboratory. It was found that the material is actually very effective and it can reduce the impact of sea water on the surface of the ship. The research and the study were published in the online journal of the Duke University.

The attempts are now being made to make this hull coating material on a larger scale. The material should be made in commercial scale so that it can be more effective and efficient. The production on large scale will also ensure reduction in cost. The concept is new and it can reduce the impact of sea water on the hull by around forty percent. This will no doubt increase the efficiency of the ships. It will reduce the cost and time spent on the maintenance of the ship. Last and not the least advantage of this hull coating material is that it will increase the life of the ships. No doubts many shipping companies across the world are showing interest in this new material. It is yet to be tested commercially. We hope that soon this concept is tested and people are made aware of the benefits of hull coating.

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