Hydrophobic TOP COAT for marine application
ChemiTek is a company dedicated to developing and commercialising customised solutions for industrial maintenance. It has a diverse portfolio presenting several innovative solutions for industrial purposes in several sectors, namely solar, automotive, naval, aeronautics and waste treatment.
ChemiTek already has products for hydrophobic coatings on glass surfaces, applied to solar panels. Hydrophobic coating products can be applied to various materials, such as plastics, fibres, and metals, on all types of equipment used at sea. The idea was to apply these coatings as ink, to protect biofouling without using biocides.The main result of the KET4CleanProduction Pilot project was the development of a biocide-free topcoat for marine applications. The use of biocides is not only harmful to the marine environment and human health but also costly. The replacement of biocides by hydrophobic additives reduced the costs of raw materials, as well as safety measures during production and disposal of hazardous materials.
KET Technology Centers involved
International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory
Josef Stefan Institute
Through the successful cooperation with the technology centres, ChemiTek has developed eco-friendly topcoats for marine applications, without using biocides. The use of hydrophobic additives and nanoparticles for surface roughness increased the coating WCA to around 120⁰.
The project optimised the polymeric formulation with hydrophobic properties, which was already developed by Chemitek. The developed coating demonstrated a combination of excellent properties, i.e., excellent adhesion, the low swelling ratio in water, excellent anti-biofouling performance, and high corrosion stability, which makes it suitable for the marine anti-fouling coating application.
Cooperation with KET TC
The key success factors were the KET TC’s expertise, combined with the SME’s know-how.
The cooperation between the SME and the KET TCs resulted in ChemiTek gaining the essential knowledge for the use of hydrophobic additives, preparation of nanoparticles with hydrophobic behaviour, preparation of a topcoat with good adhesion and corrosion properties, etc. ChemiTek is extremely satisfied with the project, which improved its production processes and provided an innovative and environmentally-friendly product.