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UV light against undesirable underwater growth – Innovative antifouling system from IOW now ready for serial production

28.02.2020 12:00

Antifouling UV spotlight
Still completely free of fouling after 10 weeks: The new antifouling UV spotlight of the IOW (blue, top) was able to precisely protect an underwater probe (orange, bottom) from barnacle colonisation. (Photo: IOW / M. Sommer)

The cover of living organisms – so-called biofouling – is a major problem for any technical equipment that has to remain operational under water for long periods of time. Crusts of mussels and barnacles usually cause mechanical problems, but even thin biofilms of algae and bacteria can damage sensitive surfaces and measuring equipment as well as interfere seriously with measurements. After about three years of development, an antifouling device designed at the IOW has now been licensed for commercial production. The new system for the first time uses lens optics to focus the UV light of energy-efficient LEDs and thus keeps irradiated surfaces permanently free of fouling.

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