Marine oil spill barriers, also known as oil containment booms, can last longer and keep oil spills under control even under intense sunlight, thanks to light stabilizers from BASF
Wonpoong Corporation in South Korea is now using BASF’s Tinuvin range of plastic additives to increase the lifespan of oil containment booms.
A containment boom is a heavy-duty debris and oil spill containment barrier, designed for a long service life with minimal maintenance. Made with marine grade components and oil-rated fabrics, these barriers can float in the water and contain oil while spill recovery is underway.
The barrier fabric is usually made of woven polyester that is impregnated with polyurethane for better resistance to both abrasion and tear. The fabric is orange in color and requires protection from prolonged UV and hydrocarbon exposure which shortens the fabric life.
“Light stabilizers reduce and significantly delay the loss of optical and mechanical properties of plastic articles used in outdoor applications,” said Hermann Althoff, SVP, of BASF’s Performance Chemicals unit in Asia Pacific. “Our light stabilizers can increase the service life of the product several times, and simultaneously reduce the resource consumption caused by the aging of the product.”
Wonpoong chose a blend of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) to manufacture the foam-filled oil containment booms. However, they do have some disadvantages. While TPU has better wear strength and softness compared to PVC, due to its poor resistance to light, TPU is easily discolored.
“We needed to strengthen the chemical resistance of PVC while enhancing the light resistance of TPU,” said John Yu, director of R&D at Wonpoong Corporation. “As a result, we required a light stabilizer with improved resistance to UV radiation that could preserve the original appearance and physical properties of the material.”