Imitating shark skin: Epoxy resin coating for drag-reduction

Researchers have presented a novel bionic non-smooth epoxy resin coating with corrosion inhibitor for drag-reduction and durability.

A surfaced submarine in the sunset.
The novel coating strategy uses a shark skin shield scale structure and improves drag reduction. Image source: David Mark - Pixabay (symbol image).

Ship hulls and subsea equipment are plagued by current resistance, seawater particles impact, corrosion and other challenges in the ocean. Consequently, developing sustainable nontoxic antifouling coatings is highly urgent. Discoveries from nature have inspired researchers to design high-efficiency, environmentally friendly, and cost-effective antifouling coatings. In a new study, a strategy of combining microstructures and Benzotriazole (BTA) was proposed through constructing shark skin shield scale structure, which improved drag reduction and increased abrasion resistance as well.

Anti-corrosion performance and the drag reduction

On the synergistic effect of BTA as corrosion inhibitor, the friction coefficient of the coating was significantly reduced and the anti-corrosion performance was greatly improved. Compared to the smooth pure epoxy coating, the anti-corrosion performance and the drag reduction rate of Texture-BTA-3 % coating was improved by 30 % and about 10 %, respectively. Furthermore, the effect of coating structure on corrosion resistance was revealed. As the researches point out, their investigation will broaden the applications in marine navigation with the favorable performance.

The study has been published in Progress in Organic Coatings, Volume 173, December 2022.

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