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22. Dec 2020 | Application Areas

Effective marine antifouling coating

Researchers have described a polyvinylpyrrolidone-based surface-active copolymer for marine antifouling coating.
Antifouling coatings are extremely important in the maritime environment. 
Image source: Alexander Kliem - Pixabay (symbol image).

Currently, it is highly desirable to develop a stable and effective antifouling coating in maritime industries. In a recent work, a novel surface-active copolymer basing on hydrophilic polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) and hydrophobic poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) was designed and incorporated into a crosslinked PDMS matrix to form a surface-renewable antifouling coating.

In the copolymer, PVP segments possessed a chemical stability and could prevent the settlement of fouling organisms attributable to its strong hydrophilicity; PDMS endowed the copolymer with compatibility to PDMS matrix and could efficiently reduce the fouling adhesion strength attributable to the low surface energy. Based on the surface-active copolymer, the coating could be reconstructed underwater in response to the environment forming a renewable surface to promote the fouling-release property.

Outstanding antifouling and fouling-release property

In addition, a set of controllable composition coatings were prepared to investigate the effects of surface chemistry on antifouling and fouling-release performance. Laboratory bioassays against marine unicellular diatom adhesion (∼99 % reduction) and mimetic barnacle attachment (∼81 % reduction) demonstrated an outstanding antifouling and fouling-release property of the copolymer-based coating compared to pristine PDMS, and the coating with a higher PVP content exhibited a better performance. Moreover, a long-term antifouling capability in marine field test (∼4 months) was also demonstrated.

The study has been published in Progress in Organic Coatings, Volume 150, January 2021.

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