Natural rosin-based zinc resins for marine antifouling

Researchers have recently described the preparation of a rosin-based zinc resin for marine antifouling applications.

A ship and a conveyor platform.
According to the researchers Image source:  raggio5 - Pixabay (symbol image).

Currently, it is highly desirable to develop a novel antifouling resin with a controllable hydrolysis rate and stable and effective antifouling performance for marine antifouling coatings. In a new study, researchers have prepared natural rosin-based zinc (RZn-x) resins by a relatively facile synthetic method from Zn(OH)2 and antimicrobial natural rosin, which is considered a toxicity-free raw material, thus ensuring the green and antimicrobial character of the material.

In their optimal combination, the RZn-x coating surface exhibited ideal peeling behaviour upon immersion in seawater, which caused the WCA of the material surface to change from 55° before immersion to 135° after immersion for 60 days and enhanced the antifouling properties. Dynamic simulation experiments of these resins also demonstrated that the hydrolysis rate of this material immersed in dynamic seawater was related to the zinc content, and the scientists could control the self-polishing ability of the resins by adjusting the content of Zn(OH)2 participating in the reaction.

Antifouling activity for more than 6 months

Moreover, hydrolysis led to a hydrophobic surface, which could prevent fouling organisms from adhering. Laboratory bioassays against BSA adsorption, bacterial (over 95 % reduction) and marine algal adhesion (more than 60 % reduction) revealed outstanding anti-protein, bacteriostasis and anti-algal growth and adhesion properties compared to pure rosin and the control sample. The long-term antifouling capability in marine field tests indicated that the RZn-x resins maintained their antifouling activity for more than 6 months, especially RZn-50, which showed excellent antifouling performance.

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

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