Protecting vessels from fouling using air bubble curtains

Scardino, A.J., Fletcher, L.E., and Lewis J.A. 2009. Fouling control using air bubble curtains: protection for stationary vessels. Journal of Marine Engineering & Technology Vol 8 No. 1 pp. 3-10

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Abstract

There is an increasing need by the marine industries for effective non-toxic control of fouling. One of the major limitations of new fouling release coatings is that they cannot protect structures whilst stationary and will not release certain fouling organisms when vessels are operating at low speeds. This is a major problem for slow or infrequently moving vessels and for vessels docked in tropical waters where fouling pressure is extreme. This paper describes novel technology (provisional patent # 2008905482) to protect vessels whilst stationary using air bubble curtains. The results of several panel
tests and one hull patch trial demonstrate that this technique is a simple, cost-effective means to complement fouling release coatings whilst vessels are in dock.