Design, develop and upscale novel low toxic and cost-efficient environmentally friendly antifouling coatings
The main goal of the BYEFOULING project, supported in the framework of the Ocean of Tomorrow by the European Commission, is to design, develop and upscale novel low toxic and cost-efficient environmentally friendly antifouling coatings with enhanced performance compared to currently available products.
The approach in BYEFOULING is to tackle different stages of the biofouling process using innovative antifouling agents, covering surfacestructured materials, protein adsorption inhibitors, quorum sensing inhibitors, natural biocides and microorganisms with antifouling properties.
Encapsulation of the innovative compounds in smart nanostructured materials will be implemented to optimize coating performance and cost all along their life cycle. A proof-of-concept for the most promising candidates will be developed and demonstrators will be produced and tested on field.
The first part of the project comprised the development of new antifouling approaches and subsequent incorporation into coatings to achieve a proof of concept level-first period covering M1-M18. The second part of the project was assigned to testing and characterization with iterative optimization to improve coating performance-second period from M19-M30. Finally, the third and last part of the project were dedicated to the industrial implementation of most promising systems and demonstration activities-third period from M31-M48.
The main effort of the consortium in this final period was done towards preparation and launching of demonstrators based on BYEFOULING technologies.
3D-design for steel demonstrators with representative geometry was finalized and first field tests at exposure locations both for ships, aquaculture and for satellite buoys have been carried out as well as a vessel in service to track hull performance was monitored. Scaling up activities of technologies defined thus far as promising include active species, nanocontainers and fillers and have been successfully proceeding to reach industrial scale. Screening tests on solvent-borne paints formulated by incorporating the most promising technologies have been performed at a pre-industrial scale. BYEFOULING paint formulations were sent to different industrial partners and were applied on demonstrators. Those coated demonstrators have finally been exposed at different test locations and are currently surveyed in the field which will last beyond the end of the project.