We are developing a non-toxic approach to control bio fouling.
Bio fouling damages unprotected underwater structures such as boat hulls, heat exchangers and oceanographic sensors. Traditional measures to prevent bio fouling involve toxic metal-based coatings. Our researchers are developing a non-toxic approach to control bio fouling by modifying the surfaces on which sediment of organisms occurs.
The researchers have developed synthetic surfaces mimicking the micro-topographical arrangements of the exterior of organisms, such as shark skin and lotus leaves, which naturally discourage bio fouling.
Using both laboratory experiments and computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulations, the researchers are able to test the effectiveness of patterned surfaces in discouraging organisms from attaching themselves to underwater structures. The goal is to identify which pattern is most effective in preventing bio fouling without the use of toxic coatings.
Partha Halder, Mahyar Nasabi, Francisco J. T. Lopez, Nira Jayasuriya, Satinath Bhattacharya, Margaret Deighton, Arnan Mitchel, Muhammed A. Bhuiyan, "A Novel Approach to Determine the Efficacy of Patterned Surfaces for Biofouling Control in Relation to Microfluidic Environment", Biofouling: The J. of Bioadhesion and Biofilm Research, Vol. 29, 6, 2013, pp. 697-713