Antifouling strategies based on super phobic polymer materials

In a newly published review, the types of fouling are classified as inorganic fouling, organic fouling, biofouling and composite fouling – and antifouling strategies for these different types are suggested according to various surface wettability.

The composite coatings (AM@GO/EP) had larger contact angles and smoother surfaces than the epoxy coating (EP). Image source: Pexels - Pixabay (symbol image).

Antifouling polymer materials have been extensively explored because of their unique fouling resistance and wide application potentials in antifouling fields. The materials have been tested in many novel application fields based on their controllable special surface wettability. Surface chemical compositions and geometrical structures determine the wettability of the materials.

The review firstly classifies the fouling into inorganic fouling, organic fouling, biofouling and composite fouling based on the types of foulants and then introduces the development history of antifouling strategies. After that, the paper summarises antifouling polymer materials with special surface wettability especially super-phobic surface wettability, including superhydrophobicity, superoleophobicity, underwater superoleophobicity and superhemophobicity.

Different antifouling strategies

Based on the different adaptability of special surface wettability to different fouling, the review further discusses the antifouling strategies of super-phobic polymer materials with special surface wettability in different fields. Finally, the potential applications, challenges, and future development pathways of antifouling polymer materials with super-phobic surface wettability are discussed.

The review has been published in Progress in Organic Coatings, Volume 157, August 2021.

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