How Ultrasonic Works to Prevent Growth

Here's the science....


Water borne micro-organisms and bacteria attach and multiply to the submerged hull area creating bio-film layer ‘slime’. Algae cells also attach in the same way and develop into complex marine structures known as seaweeds. This eco-system provides an ideal food source and environment for growth including colonisation of barnacles formed from juvenile cyprid larvae assessing suitable surfaces to attach on.


The UltraSystem works by emitting specific and scientifically researched low powered pulsed ultrasonic frequencies from a digital control unit, via transducers that are in direct contact with the vessels sea chest boxes, strainers, seawater pipework, box coolers or the inside of the hull. The hull acts as a sound board, carrying the sound waves, creating a microscopic environment of moving water molecules over the entire underwater profile of the hull. In the same way, the ultrasound will resonate within the wall of the sea chest arrangement parts, providing pollution free protection against fouling. As a result growth is prevented as the cell structures of the algae and micro-organisms are targeted and cannot survive. Barnacle larvae access surfaces on which to attach too, in this process the larvae feel the uncomfortable resonance on the surface, preventing their attachment.


While sound waves are resonating within the vessels sea chest parts or throughout the hull because the transducers are directly fixed to the hull inside, the adjoing parts of the sea chest arrangement or stern gear (propellers, shafts and drives) are acoustically isolated from the sound, due to the seals used in their attachment. However, in the proximity of the transducer, the ultrasound signal also penetrates through, dissipating its signal into the water on the other side, the sound radiated out in an 180o arc. With correct positioning of transducers, the system can also help to keep isolated parts clear, although not quite so effectively as the part the transducer itself is connected too.

Not everything described as slime on a hull is bio-film.  It can consist of dead matter that is floating in the water and sticks on, it can also be dead matter from the process of the ultrasonic system.  This non-living matter is not attached, just stuck on and the movement of the hull through the water or a light brush can easily remove it.

The program of specific frequencies and harmonics scientifically designed to destroy the various fouling organisms is unique to the Ultra System Series II.

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