Ship Owners Cry ‘No Foul’ with LuminOre Coatings

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The new composite metal application offered by LuminOre Industrial & Marine Coatings Inc. of Ventura, Calif., is generating excitement for boat owners around the world. In fact, LuminOre marine coatings just might be the marine industryÂ?s anti-foulant solution.

As West Coast water quality authorities adopt the first enforceable effort to curb cuprous oxide from leaching into marine waters from paints used on boat hulls, the marine industry is quickly searching for new solutions to the age-old mariner’s dilemma of marine fouling. Excitement over a new composite metal application offered by LuminOre Industrial & Marine Coatings Inc. of Ventura, Calif., indicates it could be the marine industry’s anti-foulant solution.

LuminOre Industrial and Marine Coatings was founded to develop and market novel industrial and marine coatings based on various metals, including copper, and a patented cold-spray application process — licensed through LuminOre Inc. of Vista, Calif. — bringing cutting-edge, molecular technology to the issue of marine fouling. One of the primary factors making LuminOre’s patented process unique is that the copper metal is not held in suspension, but is instead a chemical reaction between the metal molecules and the polymer binder that actually creates a true composite metal.

"We’re committed to developing sophisticated coatings that are more effective and more environmentally friendly than currently available marine applications," explains Terry Gould, president of LuminOre Industrial & Marine Coatings Inc., an official licensee of the patented LuminOre process. "LuminOre’s patented cold-sprayable process allows a thin layer of metal to be applied over any substrate, in virtually any configuration or design. Our coatings look, feel and act like hot-cast metal, yet no heat is needed in application. From foam to fiberglass or plaster to paper, the LuminOre process adheres to most any surface other than skin and water. Once cured, the product has many of the characteristics of a cast metal, including texture, luster and heat conductivity, and it’s also non-galvanic."

As an anti-foulant, LuminOre coatings offer very low toxicity to the environment and to non-target organisms and are low maintenance and, therefore, low cost over the life of the product. Research indicates that the LuminOre product has prevented the growth of invertebrates on LuminOre-coated surfaces and that the product is efficacious against a wide variety of salt and fresh water species. Testing has also indicated LuminOre to be effective for greater than four years in an aggressive fresh water environment, and effective for greater than eight years in an aggressive fouling salt water environment with little or no maintenance.

Copper is a natural anti-foulant and has been used on the hulls of ships for hundreds of years, ever since the British Admiralty initiated the use of copper sheets nailed to wooden ships starting with the frigate Alarm in 1761. But, unlike the days of old when ships’ hulls were clad with copper sheeting using nails as fasteners, the patented cold-spray LuminOre coating can be directly applied as a retro-fit or during the molding process when building the boat. LuminOre marine materials can be used on fiberglass and wood as well as steel and aluminum because there is no galvanic reaction.

According to Gould, LuminOre’s benefits have been demonstrated with in-the-field research. Testing over the past several years, he explains, has shown LuminOre to be an excellent deterrent to marine organisms attaching themselves to hulls or structures beneath the water line. In the Great Lakes, for example, marine fouling from zebra mussels is an annual multi-billion dollar problem.

"We’ve had test metal plates coated with LuminOre in an active zebra mussel bed for five years which have remained free of any hard growth and not a single footprint of zebra attachment has been recorded," explains Gould.

LuminOre’s composite metals are applied using conventional HVLP or plural component spray equipment, and are available in aluminum, brass, bronze, copper, iron, nickel-silver, stainless steel, X-metal and Z3. The end result is a protective coating that withstands the harshest of environments, is non-conductive of electricity and anti-corrosive. From such diverse applications as metal artistry in Las Vegas to protective coatings in harsh marine environments, the innovative breakthrough of LuminOre’s cold-metalizing process is actually changing the way the world works with metal.

All toxicology tests have been conducted and EPA submission is still underway for LuminOre copper product and, therefore, not yet available for distribution in the United States. For more information on LuminOre Industrial & Marine Coatings or LuminOre products, visit http://www.luminoreprotectivecoatings.com or contact Terry Gould at 805.654.9351.

Located in Ventura, Calif., LuminOre® Industrial & Marine Coatings Inc. is a licensee of LuminOre Inc., specialists in composite metals. LuminOre’s patented, cold-metalizing process seamlessly applies to almost any surface, giving the look of solid metal casting without the weight and expense. In addition, the extremely versatile LuminOre applications provide long-term protection for chemical tanks, potable water storage, industrial facilities and in harsh marine environments. For more information on LuminOre protective coatings and metallic finishes, call Terry Gould at 805.654.9351 or visit luminoreprotectivecoatings.com.

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John Meng