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Home  > Raw materials & technologies  > Ships glide in a hull of air

Monday, 23 September 2019
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Raw materials & technologies

Ships glide in a hull of air

Friday, 29 March 2019

A research project is dealing with coatings for ships that allow an air layer to be maintained under water. Among other things, this reduces frictional resistance.

Novel bionic ship coatings are to be developed on the basis of surfaces that permanently retain air under water. Source: Alexander Kliem / Pixabay

Novel bionic ship coatings are to be developed on the basis of surfaces that permanently retain air under water. Source: Alexander Kliem / Pixabay

Friction, corrosion and biofouling are the three key problems of shipping. The research project "Air-Retaining Surfaces" (ARES) - a cooperative project of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the Universities of Bonn and Rostock - is investigating novel coatings for ships that enable the permanent retention of an air layer under water and thus significantly reduce the frictional resistance of surfaces. At the same time, they prevent the release of toxic substances from ship paints as well as biofouling and corrosion by preventing contact between the ship and the water.

Novel bionic ship coatings

On the basis of such permanently air-retaining surfaces under water ("AirCoating Technology"), novel bionic ship coatings are to be developed, in which the ship is coated under water with a lubricating layer of air. The new, environmentally friendly technology offers enormous potential for reducing friction, at the same time providing the basis for environmentally friendly "antifouling" without the release of poison into the sea and additionally offering corrosion protection. So far, antifouling has treated ship hulls with paints containing heavy metals to prevent the growth of algae and mussels.

Image source: Pixabay

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