Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP6

Advanced nanostructured surfaces for the control of biofouling (AMBIO) - Publishable Executive Summary

Project ID: 11827
Funded under: FP6-NMP

Abstract

EU companies are world-leaders in anti-biofouling coating technology with 70% of the global market share. However, many of the technologies in use are subject to restrictions due to novel and more stringent environmental protection criteria that will eliminate many of the currently-applied biocides. Nowadays, there are no overall suitable alternative non-toxic coating technologies, so that new research is needed to overcome this technology gap and to provide EU companies with the fundamental science necessary to maintain their position at the forefront of the marine coating market. This is the raison d'être of AMBIO, an Integrated Project funded by the European Community in its 6th Framework Programme of Research and Technological Development.
Biofouling is caused by the adhesion of organisms such as bacteria, barnacles and algae to a surface. It generates large economic costs due to clogging of water pipes (e.g. in cooling installation), increase of mass on boats and marine structures, etc. This adhesion involves interfacial interactions, between the living organisms and the marine structure, which occur within a few nanometres of a surface. The aim of AMBIO is to study and develop different types of nanostructured surface to avoid the adhesion of marine fouling organisms. The research on nanoscale interfacial properties of different surfaces and how organisms adhere will allow understanding how antibiofouling systems can work, starting at the nanoscale to scale-up to future industrial applications.

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