ONR Sponsors Anti-Fouling Hydrogel Research (10/13/16)<http://maritime-executive.com/article/onr-sponsors-anti-fouling-hydrogel-research>
The U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR) is sponsoring work by Dr Xuanhe Zhao, an associate professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, into the development of new hull fouling technologies. Zhao and his team have created an adhesive hydrogel that can help barnacle-fighting coatings stick to metal hulls better and longer, retain moisture and not dry out and avoid the use of toxic chemicals and other pollutants. Currently, the Navy uses copper-based paints and coatings to kill barnacles or prevent them from latching onto hulls. While effective, these toxic materials leach into the water, negatively impacting aquatic life. The Navy is seeking environmentally-friendly coatings that can keep hulls clean and reduce fuel costs…..