Eco-friendly underwater coating

A new study presents intrinsic self-healing superhydrophobic polyurea/titanium dioxide composite coatings for underwater drag reduction and antifouling.

Inspired by nature, superhydrophobic surfaces and their associated properties, such as antifouling, self-cleaning, anti-icing, drag reduction, and oil-water separation have received widespread attention. Image source: Angelika Bentin - AdobeStock (symbol image).

Reducing the operation cost of underwater equipment and improving work efficiency have become more and more important. Superhydrophobic coatings have excellent applications in drag reduction, antifouling and other fields due to their unique surface wettability. A new paper reports a superhydrophobic polyurea/TiO2 composite coating with rapid self-healing ability by simple sprinkling or spraying of modified TiO2 nanoparticles on the brushed polyurea coating.

The modified TiO2 nanoparticles were driven to migrate to the surface of the coating by the synergistic self-healing effect of the disulfide and hydrogen bonds inside the polyurea, contributing to restoring the superhydrophobicity. This superhydrophobic polyurea/TiO2 composite coating possesses ~11.28 % drag reduction efficiency. Moreover, this coating possesses excellent antifouling properties and chemical durability.

The study has been published in Progress in Organic Coatings, Volume 183, October 2023.

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