The Ocean Cleanup

Customized solutions to protect and support our marine environment.

At the end of 2017, Ecocoast partnered with The Ocean Cleanup to design and manufacture the screen for their System 001.

The Ocean Cleanup is a non-profit organization that develops advanced technologies to rid the world's oceans of plastic, starting with the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP).

Screen design is not to be underestimated, something that they have been experiencing since the summer of 2016. They tested a series of screen prototypes, but unfortunately, all of them failed to pass the tests.

We can proudly say that we were the first to develop a successful screen for their marine barrier System 001. Our R&D and Engineering expertise informed the development of this groundbreaking screen.

The screen, engineered and manufactured by Ecocoast in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is made from a tightly constructed, geotextile-inspired material. Conditions in the Pacific Ocean are extremely harsh, so the screen had to be very strong. A strong line once every meter was attached to create a direct load path between the ballast weights and floater connection, limiting the loads running through the screen fabric itself. The fibers of the fabric were grouped in bands to spread the load across many fibers, making tear propagation unlikely. As an added safety feature, the strong lines themselves acted as an additional rip-stop mechanism as well.

The upside of this design is that it solves all the failure mechanisms that were previously encountered. It is, however, much more complicated, requiring many interfaces in the shape of stitches. The manufacturing process was very detailed and complicated. Attention to quality was key, due to the forces that the panels would be subjected to.

The screen passed rigorous tests in the North Sea to determine final design parameters, measure loads and monitor underwater behavior, and Pacific Trials for a period of two weeks before continuing its journey to the world's largest ocean garbage patch.

The full press release announcing the partnership is available here: Ecocoast Partnered with The Ocean Cleanup.

Photo Credit: The Ocean Cleanup.