Development of a gentle laser cleaning process for underwater use

Marine fouling on ship hulls is a major problem for the industry. This so-called biofouling increases the flow resistance and thereby the fuel consumption and the emissions. The Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) therefore wants to develop a laser-based cleaning process together with Laserline GmbH and the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Applied Materials Research (IFAM) to gently and efficiently remove the vegetation without damaging the underlying coating.

Compared to mechanical cleaning processes, it should be possible to clean ships more efficiently and more gently, and thus to keep the flow resistance low. This would significantly reduce fuel consumption and ultimately emissions.

The project "Fouling removal of maritime surfaces using laser radiation underwater - FoulLas" is being carried out by the Laserline GmbH, the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM and the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH). The FoulLas project is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) via the project coordinator Jülich under the grant number 03SX489.

Dr.-Ing. Benjamin Emde
Head of Underwater Technology Group
Materials and Processes Department
Phone: +49 511 2788-336