U.S. House of Representatives Passes Legislation for Naval Vessels to Transition from Copper-based Antifouling Coatings by 2028

HOPKINTON, Mass.–()–On June 14, 2024, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to commence the U.S. Navy transitioning away from copper-based antifouling coatings. The legislation directed the Secretary of Defense to develop, “a timeline to remove existing copper-based antifouling coatings from naval vessels by January 1, 2028.”

“a timeline to remove existing copper-based antifouling coatings from naval vessels by January 1, 2028.”

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The legislation, which was passed as part of the Servicemember Quality of Life Improvement and National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2025, called for a specific assessment of antifouling effectiveness measured by:

  • Duration of time such coating prevents biological adhesion, corrosion, and degradation of vessel surfaces
  • Environmental damage caused by shedding and leaching of the coating
  • Effect of the coating on fuel efficiency and vessel speed

The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock, estimates that vessel speed is reduced by up to 10% from biofouling, which can require up to a 40% increase in fuel consumption to counter the added drag.

Adaptive Surface Technologies (AST), a spinout of Harvard University, applauded this measure by the U.S. House as a major step forward for reducing operational costs for the U.S. Navy and increasing environmental stewardship of U.S. coastal regions.

AST’s copper-free anti-fouling coatings have been subjected to 60+ months of testing and demonstrated superior anti-fouling performance at international testing sites. Naval vessels typically have drydock schedules that are on 60-month cycles, making AST’s copper-free anti-fouling technology the only foul release coating that has third-party testing data showing superior performance to Hempel’s X3 and Akzo Nobel’s BRA-640 or 1100SR.

According to the American Coatings Association, marine coatings are a roughly $9 billion market, growing 5-7% per year, with approximately 64% being in the anti-fouling or fouling release coatings.

For more information on AST’s full suite of products, please visit https://adaptivesurface.tech/.

About Adaptive Surface Technologies

A world leader in repellent surfaces, Adaptive Surface Technologies, Inc. is an industrial technology company that produces additives and coatings used for a wide range of industrial, marine, and packaging applications. AST has been backed by Akzo Nobel, Tokyo Electron Ventures, BASF Ventures, Anzu Partners, and other strategic and financial investors. Research and development for AST has been funded by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), and AST has served as a subcontractor for General Dynamics Electric Boat.

For more information, visit https://adaptivesurface.tech.


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