Project Title

The Next Evolution in Materials and Models for Ocean Energy

Researchers

Chloe Richards

Project Summary

This project focuses on overcoming the problems caused by biofouling in ship´s hull and harbor structures from an ecological and environmental point of view using technology such as 3D printing and laser-cutting inspired by natural structures.
Biofouling, the development of nuisance or unwanted biofilms on a surface, is a major problem due to accumulation of biomass causing reduced efficiency, contamination, corrosion, and failure of engineered components.
Biofilm formation is most readily recognised in marine and freshwater environments where a cursory glance at a surface such as ship´s hull immersed for even a short period reveals a multitude of organisms attached to and populating surfaces.
Economic costs associated with removal of biofouling are considerable. The cost associated without combating biofouling is associated with decreases in efficiency, performance, reliability, and increases in corrosion rates. This has resulted in many attempts at producing surfaces that prevent biofouling.
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