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10. May 2021 | Application Areas

Polymer with fouling resistance for antifouling coatings

A degradable hyperbranched antifouling polymer (DHAP) has been synthesised using RAFT polymerisation. The DHAP coating showed excellent antibacterial and anti-biofilm properties.
DHAP represents a promising system for antifouling coatings.
Image source: Peter H - Pixabay (symbol image).

The controlled release of antifoulant is critical in marine antifouling, which is profoundly influenced by the compatibility between polymer resin and antifoulant. Conjugation of polymers with active molecules provides a promising strategy to solve the problem.

In a new study, researchers report the synthesis of hyperbranched polymers containing antifouling main-chains and degradable branching points by using reversible addition-fragmentation chain-transfer (RAFT) polymerisation. The copolymerisation of butyl methacrylate, vinyl-functional Econea and divinyl-functional poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) yields a degradable hyperbranched antifouling polymer (DHAP).

Good antibacterial activity

As revealed by 1H NMR, the vinyl conversion linearly increases over reaction time during RAFT polymerisation with a final conversion rate above 90 % after 24 h. The branching degree of DHAP increases with the content of PCL segment. Quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation (QCM-D) measurements shows the degradation of DHAP is controlled. Antibacterial assays indicate that DHAP coating has good antibacterial activity. Thus, DHAP represents a promising system for antifouling coatings.

The study has been published in Progress in Organic Coatings, Volume 153, April 2021.

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