Malta field test and biofouling results
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First successful application of the AIRCOAT foil on a real world vessel.
Air layer stability over days was successfully demonstrated on a vessel’s hull under real navigation conditions.
5 hours after deployment, 2/3 of the air layer was intact with the remaining 1/3 having suffered partial air loss.
Complete loss of air layer was observed at Day 8 of immersion.
After 18 days of immersion, biofouling started to settle on the AIRCOAT foil, with the control remaining fouling-free.
The AIRCOAT Foil Structure
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PERFORMANCE UNDER REAL WORLD CONDITIONS:
A full air layer was observed upon contact with water.
Air layer was intact after navigating for 30 min at 3 knots.
Air layer was gradually lost by a gassing-out phenomenon.
Complete air layer loss by Day 8, and by Day 75 a thick biofouling mat was observed.
AIR LAYER DURABILITY
Tests confirmed observation that smaller structures hold a more stable air layer, and thus longer air layer retention capabilities.
Loss of air in the form of small bubbles was observed.
Increased rotational speed reduced the durability of the air layer, though exact cause of air loss remains unclear.
FOULING GROWTH INHIBITION AND ATTACHMENT STRENGTH
The loss of the air layer by Day 8 caused the loss of the protective barrier.
Small microstructures appear to provide a suitable environment for fouling settlement, while simultaneously appear to increase fouling release characteristics, facilitating cleaning.