Biofouling, Corrosion & Water Testing
A common engineering challenge is biological fouling referred to as biofouling. This is the build up of microorganisms, biofilms and biological matter on surfaces. This microbial contamination in water systems is a global problem. Microbial infections within water treatment plants for example pose a wide spread health risk to the population. When these infections become biofilm related, they can prove exceptionally difficult to remove from tubes, pipes and water vats. For example, biofilm formation on the hulls of ships costs the shipping industries billions of dollars. Excessive layers of biofilm material increases the drag, resulting in extra fuel to combat this.
Biofouling is prevalent in medicine and industrial environments. In medicine fouling for example can occur on orthopaedic implants, respirators, contact lenses, catheters, heamodialysis and biosensor systems. In engineered systems biofouling can occur on ships hulls, engines, marine platforms and in drinking water.
Controlling biofouling can be achieved a number of different ways in these sectors. At 5D we have extensive skills and knowledge in biofouling development and control and the public health issues associated with biofilms in hospital water supplies and potable water.