Partnering opportunity

Air retaining grids, enabling stable gas layers under fluids


A German university developed grids for stable gas retention under fluids. These pave the way for large-scale coating innovations, such as friction reducing or antifouling ship coatings or other applications in underwater structures. There is furthermore potential for pressure sensors. The functionality has been proven experimentally. Industrial partners are sought for license agreements.

Partner sought

The university offers licenses to interested companies for the invention and the patent application. The partners could be from the area of surface technology, coating as well as sensor technology. They should implement the technology in their respective applications.


A German university offers an air retaining grids technology. This technology describes a new way of architecture and construction of surfaces, that is capable of keeping a layer of gas stable, even under changing pressure conditions if immersed in liquid. Structured, non-wettable surfaces are used for various applications. The surfaces of the lattice structures are liquid-repellent and in particular hydrophobic as well as oleophobic. Grids or grid-like structures are mounted over a surface and supported by a spacer. They enclose a stable gas layer as soon as they are submerged under liquid. By means of the lattice structures it is possible to absorb mechanical stresses more elastically and in the case of a mechanical impact it is possible to maintain the gas layer. Various structures of the gratings or grid-like structures, which are supported, allow the surface to be subdivided into sealed gas volumes. As a result, there is a long-term stable gas hold under liquid. The air retaining grids technology is ideal for large-scale implementation of bionic air retaining surfaces. Great potential lies in the production of friction reducing ship coatings, where structures are permanently immersed in liquids or water. Through the grids a stable air conditioning can be achieved. Because the gas layers remain stable under liquids, the surfaces can be used for friction reduction or as an antifouling coating on ship hulls or other liquid-overflowed surfaces. It is also conceivable use the technology as a sensor for currents or pressure. Industrial partners from the coating or sensor industry are sought to implement the invention in their applications within license agreements.

Advantages and innovations

This is a new technology that will enable new opportunities for a variety of applications: • Use on large surface (e.g., ship´s hull) is now possible • Large-area gratings can be produced more easily and more homogeneously, placed on a substructure and fixed • Aligned for loads under dynamic conditions • The new technology remains stable against mechanical influences (e.g., fast flowing waters) • Cost-effective simple production • Can also be used in the field of sensorics

Development stage

Under development/lab tested

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

Patent(s) applied for but not yet granted

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