Layers of Air Under Water

01 _ About the Project

The Aircoating technology is a fully patented process for air-retaining and biological surface coating, which was developed on the model of nature, more precisely the water-repellent water moss Salvinia Molesta.


The fern has a dense edging of tiny hairs on the surface of the leaf, which is covered with a wax layer and are enormously water-repellent (hydrophobic). The tips, however, retain the water firmly on their surface (hydrophilic). As a result, the fern is enveloped in an air layer that cannot escape. Thanks to the close cooperation with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), an artificial surface could be produced that works according to the same principle.


Coating with the Aircoating process essentially solves three key problems in navigation: Drastic reduction of frictional resistance, which again can reduce energy consumption and the associated emissions enormously. Furthermore, the release of pollutants from highly toxic marine paints and anti-fouling coatings to the surrounding water is significantly reduced without reducing the antifouling effect. Due to the avoidance of corrosion, diffusion, contamination and permeation, the layer of air and the associated environmentally friendly hull coating is retained significantly longer than with conventional coatings.


Through continuous further development, the technology has great potential to be of considerable benefit in other areas of application – beyond shipping.

  • Company Foundation

    August 2017

  • Partner since

    August 2017

  • Board of Directors

    Dr. Heiner Pollert, Prof. Dr. Thomas Schimmel

  • Form of Enterprise


  • Locations

    München, Karlsruhe

  • Industry

    Engineering, Cleantech, Nanotech

  • More Information

02 _ Charakteristika

Was Aircoating
Technologies auszeichnet


A successful sample, surrounded by a stable layer of air, has been lying dry under water in the Karlsruhe Institute for more than seven years.


The water-repellent surface coating reduces the frictional resistance of ships, avoids the use of anti-fouling and eliminates corrosion effects.


The release of pollutants from highly toxic marine paints and anti-fouling coatings to the surrounding water can be significantly reduced without reducing the effectiveness of the airtight surface coating.


The air layer of Aircoating Technology drastically reduces the friction of the ship in the water and the associated loss of energy, in the laboratory a reduction in friction of approx. 30% has already been achieved.


The advantages of the coating are the short amortization spans for the foils due to immense energy savings, low-cost mass production, a high degree of automation as well as the high resistance factor.


A renowned team of KIT scientists has been researching the technology for more than 10 years. The management team of Patentpool Group provides advice and support.


With 20 years of experience in the management and financing of disruptive technologies, we have already invested approximately 3 million as lead investor.


Patentpool, with more than 20 years of experience in management and financing of disruptive technologies, has already invested as a lead investor and is actively managing the project.

“A major problem for energy consumption and the environment is the friction of a ship in the water. The foil and the air layer do not allow water to reach the hull, thus reduce friction in the water, but also solve two other problems. Our films could supersede the use of antifouling paints and corrosion treatments s or at least reduce them significantly.”

Prof. Dr. Thomas Schimmel

Karlsruher Institute of Technology

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