Rahul Ganguli of Teledyne Scientific in Thousand Oaks, California, says that the slime would form a gelatinous skin that continually sloughs off, taking with it the barnacles and other marine life forms that cause energy-sapping drag by accumulating on the ships’ underside.
He and his colleagues are currently testing the idea as part of a research project, being financed by the US Department of Defense.
His plan is to cover the outer layer of a ship in a metal mesh, beneath which is a regular pattern of holes that exude a sticky, bio safe chemical that becomes more viscous on contact with seawater.
The secretion oozing out of the pores will fill the gap in the mesh and pools on top to form a viscous skin coating the entire hull that will steadily wear away, taking with it any life that has gained a foothold, and will be replaced by new slime from below.
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