Basalt knits SEAL for protecting submerged marine structures from fouling reached Innovation Award Finals that took place in Germany.
Helmut Peterseim Strickwaren GmbH with basalt knits for protecting submerged marine structures from fouling hit the top three in the Industry and Materials (Innovationspreis Thüringen) nomination.
This is not the first time when the company projects have been highly appreciated. In 2017 Peterseim Strickwaren won the Techtextil Innovation Award in the New Application category.
This project offers a basalt fiber knitted “stocking” tightly attached to the smooth underwater objects: bridge supports, wind turbines foundations, drilling platforms, pipelines, buoys, and other structures and machinery. Colonies of mollusks, algae and other marine inhabitants make themselves at home on these surfaces.
Fouling causes heavy economic damage, accelerates corrosion and requires large investments and much efforts to remove outgrowths. Either a laborious mechanical method or a specific high toxic coating is used to get rid of them. This procedure has to be repeated regularly. Moreover, biocidal coatings requires re-coating resulting in significant chemical pollution of the world ocean.
The idea to make surfaces unfit for algae and mollusks colonization, and to get it unsmooth by covering with a knitted fabric made from eco-friendly material inspired Peterseim Strickwaren to develop SEAL.
Basalt fiber is made from natural material, is highly resistant to aggressive media, environmentally safe and wear-resistant. Usually, it is used to weave a fabric rather than knit, because the fibers are brittle. The company’s specialists have solved this problem, but keep the technology a secret.
Basalt knits allow us to halve the maintenance and renovation costs, stresses Peterseim Strickwaren. The long-term effect depends on several reasons: water temperature, a variety of crustaceans and mollusks that form algae colonies.
In 2018 a test basalt knitted coating was applied in Dubai to demonstrate good results. The potential users expressed lively interest in it.
The producer is set to keep on testing at their facilities located in Panama and Singapore. They are looking into protecting desalination facilities and extinguishing systems in ports. Issues relating to tight fitting fasteners to protect structures of various geometries are being addressed.
It is the 22nd edition of the Innovationspreis Thüringen Award. To sum up, 91 entries were made to be assessed by a jury of 17 experts. They picked up 20 projects for the finals. The five best projects and two entrepreneurs were awarded the Thuringian Business Award. Helmut Peterseim Strickwaren project came second in its nomination and second in the audience rating.
Basalt fiber is interesting to the developers due to the physicochemical properties, reasonable price, low environment footprint and recyclability.
A bridge made of basalt-fiber composite and bio resin that is possible to fully cycle at the end of life was built in the Netherlands. However, they expect the bridge to serve over hundred years.
Translated by Olga Yurchenko