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Tuesday, 24 September 2019
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Raw materials & technologies, Applications, Protective & Marine coatings

Smart TiO2 nanocomposites for self-cleaning coatings of ship hulls

Friday, 8 April 2016

The remarkable surface properties and favorable environmental effects of non-stick, silicone-based, and fouling release (FR) coatings have supported their economic and ecological applications in the marine shipping industry since organotin compounds have been banned.

The nanofiller offers superhydrophilicity, self-cleaning and antifouling coating of ship hull. Source: Nightman1965/Fotolia.com

The nanofiller offers superhydrophilicity, self-cleaning and antifouling coating of ship hull. Source: Nightman1965/Fotolia.com

International researchers prepared and characterised a novel series of solar light-boosted nanocomposites, and applied these materials as a modern stream for ship hull FR technology in field.

Photo-nanofiller featured stable particle morphology

The design of eco-friendly, ultraviolet visible (UV–vis) smart, silicone-enriched, spherical TiO2 nanocomposites for maritime navigation applications was demonstrated. Rutile TiO2 photonanospheres with dominant [110] facets were synthesised and controlled through the sol–gel technique. Different nanofiller concentrations were blended in silicone nanocomposites through polymer solution casting for comparative purposes. The single-crystal TiO2 photo-nanofiller enrichment of vinyl-terminated polydimethylsiloxane matrix enhanced photocatalytic activity, a feature that is significant in designing solar-spectrum-boosted self-cleaning surfaces.

Best self-cleaning performance at 0.5% nanofillers

These investigations revealed that the well-dispersed polymer matrix/photonanofillers influenced the surface wettability, chemical properties, and mechanical features of the prepared FR nanocomposites. The nanocomposites exhibited the best self-cleaning performance at 0.5% nanofillers after UV–vis irradiation. Biological assessments involving a one-month laboratory assay of bacterial and yeast species and a 12-month natural seawater field trial revealed that the modeled nanocomposites exerted a marked photobactericidal effect.

The study is published in: Materials & Design.

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