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Wednesday, 26 February 2020
Raw materials & technologies, Applications, Protective & Marine coatings

Foul-release coatings combat infestation of mussels

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Silicone foul-release coatings that have long protected ship hulls are now showing major promise against invasive mussels that plague much water and hydropower infrastructure, US researchers have found.

Mussels infest dams and structures

Mussels infest dams and structures

Scientist of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation tested more than 50 antifouling and foul-release coatings on still and flowing waters at Parker Dam on the Colorado River, USA. The research could hold tremendous potential for reducing maintenance and improving performance at dams and similar structures.

Testing coatings and metal alloys

"Parker Dam provided an excellent field test site to evaluate coatings in still and flowing water, because the quagga and zebra mussels infesting this location reproduce throughout the year and have a high growth rate,” the Bureau reported.

The team tested coatings and metal alloys in six categories: conventional epoxies (no fouling control), antifouling coatings (designed to prevent mussel attachment), foul-release coatings (designed to ease removal of mussels that have attached), fluorinated powdered coatings, metallic coatings and metal alloys.

The coatings were tested in still and flowing waters. For still water, three one-foot-square steel plates were tied on a nylon rope and lowered into water about 50 feet deep near the face of the dam. For the flowing conditions, one 18-by-24-inch coated floor grate with one-inch spacing was suspended 40 feet below the water surface downstream from the forebay trash rack structure.

 See a video the report here:!

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