Manufacturing Today - November/December 2017 - 31

LiquiGuard

propfx is designed to hold
up for two years, compared
to the industry standard of
six months.

was an existing proprietary hybrid
polysiloxane resin LiquiGuard had
used in other applications. The coating had a resistive nature that made it
an appealing candidate, including impermeability, adhesion and outstanding abrasion resistance. "Two years
ago, we started researching what we
can do with this great coating and how
to apply it to solve this marine problem," Sadriwalla says.
	 This research led to the now patent-pending Nano Fluid Surface
Technology (NFST) with the hybrid
polysiloxane providing a durable and
dependable foundation polymer.
NFST transforms the surface of a solid material into a thin, immobilized lubricant layer by delivering a repellent
fluid from encapsulated reservoirs
discreetly diffused throughout the
tough polymer coating. The release
lubricant is configured to migrate to
the coatings surface, suffusing it and
creates a smooth, slippery interface.
Whenever this interface is disturbed
or displaced, a replenishing fresh layer manifests itself from the invisible
reservoirs entrapped in the coating.
	 Other attempts at creating a liquid
surface interface have been successful
by elite organizations such as MIT un-

der the brand name LiquidGlide and
by Harvard, which branded its innovation SLIPS (Slippery Liquid-infused
Surface). The Indian Institute of Technology, Powai through independent
research, had also developed a similar
solution. These solutions differ from
LiquiGuard's NFST by virtue of the
fact that the liquid interface is created
by first laying down a nano coating layer with a very coarse topography ranging from a roughness scale of 2 nanometers to 30 nanometers. The surface
was then suffused with a viscous fluid
selected from a group of polydimethylsiloxanes. The fluid was trapped and
stabilized in the rough terrain of the
nano layer previously applied. Unlike LiquiGuard's NFST solution, the
slippery layer in the above solutions
is subject to easy disruption when encountering physical and rough forces.

Ready for Prime Time
LiquiGuard is proud and excited to
bring to market a truly novel and effective coating that will help solve a
severe problem for the marine industry and have implications for other
commercial and industrial sectors
such as wind energy, fish farming, oil
and gas pipelines, self-cleaning coatings for large structures such as towers and bridges, ice-phobic coatings
and anti-graffiti coatings.
	 PropFX consists of a single
two-component material that is crystal clear and applied to the running
gear and the submerged area of the
hull, if so desired, when the vessel is
dry docked. It takes a minimum of
eight hours for the coating to cure,
although Sadriwalla says most vessels
should be given 24 hours to cure before they are returned to the water.
	 While the mechanism of causing
foul release by preventing attachment is common between PropFx

South

and competitive coatings, it has been
observed that on vessels that remain
stationary for several weeks the fouling is able to firmly anchor. With
PropFX having its hybrid coating as
the foundation, this type of anchoring on a stationary vessel, even after
extended duration, is avoided.
	 PropFX does not contain any biological component, so it won't react
to any of the animal or plant life within the water. "It's formulated from
inorganic material so therefore is
non-polluting and does not contain
any copper based ingredients, which
prevents corrosive interaction with
other metals such as aluminum," Sadriwalla says. Once the coating is dry,
it remains inert and provides an electrically non-conductive barrier.
	 PropFX is also designed to hold up
better over time. Where other solutions are topical and are at risk of rubbing off, PropFX bonds directly into
the surface of the material. If something rubs across the bottom of a ship
coated with PropFX, the oil embedded into the nanostructure of the hull
surface seeps out and restores itself.
	 Because PropFX forms a chemical
and mechanical bond with the metallic surfaces of the running gear,
the hard film coating is expected to
last much longer than the six months
standard in conventional products.
"Based on preparations of the material, we feel that two years is a reasonable estimate," Sadriwalla says.
	 Its early success with local boatyards already has LiquiGuard thinking about applications beyond the
marine industry. "I believe we are
the only company with such a solution," he says. "It's quite enigmatic
and conceptually unique. We are open
to working with other industries to
share this technology and bring this
solution to market." mt
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 manufacturing-today.com

LIQUIGUARD co review.indd 31

31

10/30/17 2:07 PM


http://www.manufacturing-today.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - November/December 2017

Table of Contents
Manufacturing Today - November/December 2017 - Cover1
Manufacturing Today - November/December 2017 - Cover2
Manufacturing Today - November/December 2017 - 1
Manufacturing Today - November/December 2017 - Table of Contents
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Manufacturing Today - November/December 2017 - Cover3
Manufacturing Today - November/December 2017 - Cover4
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