Monday, May 25, 2015

Experiment Continued

On Thursday, 5/21/2015, I pulled up the NeverWet test coupon that had been submerged since 12/14/2014, approximately 5 months. 

Upon retrieval, there was no longer any visible air film on the coated side of the coupon - the silvery appearance was gone.  Nevertheless, there was a marked difference between the treated side and the control.  The NeverWet had retarded marine growth, if not prevented it:

As retrieved
Although both sides were covered with marine slime, the treated side had only one spot where something more complex than slime had attached (near the bottom).  I decided to see how firmly things were adhering, so I lightly sprayed with a fine spray from a hose.  Almost everything came off of the treated side.

After light water spray
And then, since it looked so good, I returned it to the water, just to see what would happen.  The air film returned:

Air film has returned
The original intent of the experiment was to see if NeverWet could serve as a bottom paint replacement, either for the hull proper, or for the speedo transducers.  I can conclude that, without periodic renewal of the air film by exposure to air, the film will slowly disappear.  And once it is gone, the NeverWet's ability to prevent marine growth is compromised. So, for boats which are continuously in the water, NeverWet cannot serve as a bottom paint.  For boats that are periodically exposed to air however (dinghies perhaps?), it should work.  And I still wonder if the air film will reduce skin drag, but sadly I have no way to test that.

So, tho the original experimental premise was proven false, a secondary experiment continues.  After all, most real experimental discoveries do not come following a cry of "Eureka!", but rather accompanied by, "Hmmm, that's odd..."


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