The encapsulation method means that the biocides content can be reduced with up to 50% including the environmentally harmful Copper dioxide.
While the toxic ingredients are reduced significantly the efficiency against biofouling remains the same. The excess poisons are removed due to the controlled release.
The overall coating properties are not affected by the encapsulation. For example, the ability for mechanical cleaning and friction is not changed in the underlying coating.
How does it work?
The main problem of current biocide use in coatings is unnecessary losses within the first months after application. Biocides added in their free state tend to leach heavily initially. To counter the effects of such losses, high initial loadings of biocides are applied.
EnCoat has developed an encapsulation technology that has the potential to reduce the overall biocide content in antifouling coatings. The technology is based on the encapsulation of co-biocides by porous silica aerogels. By encapsulating the active compounds in carriers, it is possible to slow down the release of biocides from coatings and make sure that preservatives are present where they are needed, that is on the coating surface.
EnCoat takes the approach of using silica aerogel as the host material. This provides a much safer and cleaner product as the silica aerogel is a biodegradable product and extends the lifetime of fouling protection as the aerogel has a porosity that ensures slow release of the biocide.
The encapsulation approach is widely used in pharmaceutical and agricultural applications.