Marine antifouling coating with controlled release of copper ion

A new study presents cuprous oxide-based marine antifouling coatings with controlled release of copper ion mediated by amphiphilic copolymers.

Offshore wind turbines.
The new work may help boost the development of polybenzoxazine-based coatings with long-term corrosion resistance in harsh marine environments.  Image source: marliesplatvoet - Pixabay (symbol image).

To achieve prolonged and sustainable release of copper ion in Cu2O-containing marine coatings, special diblock copolymers with different block ratios and molecular weights were synthesised by atom-transfer radical polymerisation method. It was proved that the copolymers are able to coordinate with copper ion. And the surface wettability tests showed that the amphiphilic copolymers may undergo structure change in seawater. Taking advantage of the structure transformation and copper coordination abilities, the copolymer was employed to encapsulate Cu2O for the preparation of antifouling coatings.

Good antifouling performances

A controllable and continuous release of copper ion from Cu2O/copolymer coatings was then obtained. Actually, the bactericidal ability of the coating depends on the time duration of copper ion on the surface instead of the hydrolysis speed of the coating. Self-polishing coatings Cu2O/copolymer/polycaprolactone (PCL) were then prepared and applied for marine field test, the antifouling performances were proved to be comparable to that of the commercially available self-polishing coatings.,

The study has been published in Progress in Organic Coatings, Volume 170, September 2022.

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