We have developed a coating for underwater metal hardware that prevents biofouling without the use of toxic leachables harmful to the environment. Biofouling is the growth of organisms such as mold, algae, and barnacles on surfaces. The biofouling problem costs the US over $200 billion as these tiny organisms decrease the fuel efficiency of shipping vessels, clog water treatment facilities, increase power plant costs, and destroy aquaculture crops. The US is spending over $5 billion each year on anti-fouling paints and other coatings in attempt to eliminate this problem. Over 90% of current strategies include leaching toxic copper ions into the water to kill anything near the surface . However, increasing regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency are taking aim at these methods changing the status quo for antifouling approaches. In addition, copper coatings are not compatible with metal hardware leaving weak points for biofouling to occur at these extremely important loca...
We have developed a coating for underwater metal hardware that prevents biofouling without the use of toxic leachables harmful to the environment. Biofouling is the growth of organisms such as mold, algae, and barnacles on surfaces. The biofouling problem costs the US over $200 billion as these tiny organisms decrease the fuel efficiency of shipping vessels, clog water treatment facilities, increase power plant costs, and destroy aquaculture crops. The US is spending over $5 billion each year on anti-fouling paints and other coatings in attempt to eliminate this problem. Over 90% of current strategies include leaching toxic copper ions into the water to kill anything near the surface . However, increasing regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency are taking aim at these methods changing the status quo for antifouling approaches. In addition, copper coatings are not compatible with metal hardware leaving weak points for biofouling to occur at these extremely important locations. As a team of bioengineers and chemical engineers trained in producing materials for medical products we are applying skillsets not traditionally considered for the problem of biofouling. The technologies we developed in the past were designed to prevent fouling on medical implants while remaining safe to the nearby biological tissue. Using this mindset we are preventing biofouling without the need for harmful chemicals. As an entry into the market we are targeting our technology towards the prevention of biofouling of metal hardware found on recreational boats. A crucial purpose of metal hardware on boats is to provide water intake through special fittings called thru-hull fittings in order to run cool water to onboard engines, pumps, and other critical components. When these fittings and valves are clogged from biofouling the efficiency of these instruments begins to decline. In addition, completely clogged thru-hull fittings can even result in catastrophic failure and boats sinking. By targeting underwater parts on recreational boats this will allow us to enter a larger beachhead market that includes materials for power plants, water treatment facilities, and heat exchangers. As a startup we would like to manufacture parts that will be coated with our anti-fouling coating. To accomplish this we would like to work with 3D metal printing manufacturers in the region to produce underwater hardware products that are not susceptible to biofouling.
More information

Recommendations

Noah Papas

I have known Noah and his team for almost 3 years. I have watched them work through their PhD studies as a colleague in a nearby laboratory. Noah and I also began our entrepreneurial journey around the same time at Pitt's Startup weekend in 2014. Since that time it has been amazing to see what Noah has accomplished, culminating with the win at the Big Idea competition in 2015. He is coach-able, incredibly intelligent and hard working.

Babs Carryer Mentor at Nymbus Media

I cannot recommend highly enough Noah Snyder and his team at surfmatters . As director of educational programs at Pitt, I have known Noah for a couple of years, starting from him taking my class on new technology commercialization during the spring of 2014. Noah has what it takes to be an entrepreneur. He is dedicated, passionate, and exhibits an emerging strong leadership style. Noah has done a fantastic job building a team and pivoting the business to a more industrial application (instead of healthcare). I believe in Noah and the team and highly recommend them for programs that will help them get to the next level.

Lorenzo Soletti Co-founder and CEO at Venndoo

I had the chance of working with the team Surf-Matters on several occasions. The team has demonstrated focus, dedication, and competence working on a high-potential platform technology. They conducted fundamental de-risking activities including, a need validation with global corporate players in the field of advance coatings, a deep technical validation using industry standards, and a thorough competitive landscape analysis. I strongly support the team application to the F6S program.

Lorenzo Soletti Co-founder and CEO at Venndoo

Lorenzo Soletti Co-founder and CEO at Venndoo

Lorenzo Soletti Co-founder and CEO at Venndoo

The team Surf-Matters has demonstrated focus, dedication and passion for high potential platform technology. They conducted fundamental derisking

Evan Facher, Ph.D., M.B.A

As director of the University of Pittsburgh's office focused on new company development and the general manager of past new ventures I have seen many early stage opportunities. Surf Matters is one of the strongest teams I have had the pleasure of working with not only based on the underlying technology but mainly due to the quality of the participating individuals. I would highly recommend Surf Matters to the F6S startup program and am certain they will be successful.

Greg Coticchia, MBA, PC Mentor at Nymbus Media

Surf-Matters is an exceptional team, with a strong technology that is focused on a large market opportunity. I have worked with this team and watched them progress their business and gain important business model insights through customer discovery. They are taking all the right steps.