Polyurethane in silicone rubber for enhanced coating performances

Researchers have produced a highly adhesive and mechanically stable coating with dual-functional antifouling/anticorrosive performances by incorporating polyurethane chains into a silicone rubber framework.

A ship.
The prepared self-healing superhydrophobic coating with mechanochemical stabilisation has a bright prospect for anti-corrosion application under harsh service environments.  Image source: Foundry - Pixabay (symbol image).

Silicone rubber (SR) based coatings with remarkable antifouling performances have received tremendous interests due to their prominent merits of environmental adaptability, stability, non-toxicity. However, it still remains a great challenge to fabricate SR-based antifouling coatings with both high mechanical properties for the bulk coating and high adhesion properties to substrates. Now, a dual-functional SR-based coating with both antifouling and anticorrosive performances was developed by incorporating polyurethane (PU) chains into the SR framework to form SR/PU interpenetrating polymer networks (SR/PU IPNs), to maintain its high adhesion to metal substrate without compromising surface antifouling properties.

Optimised mechanical properties

By adjusting the mass ratio of SR and PU components, the adhesion of the SR/PU IPNs to the substrate as well as its mechanical properties can be remarkably improved. Compared with the pristine SR, the SR/PU75 IPNs possessed the optimised mechanical properties, with the increases in the Young’s modulus and compression modulus, by ~312 % and ~289 % respectively. Additionally, the adhesion strength of the composite was increased by 369 %. Owing to the synergistic effect of SR/PU IPNs, the SR/PU75 IPNs realised synchronous enhancement of antifouling and anticorrosion performance.

The study has been published in Progress in Organic Coatings, Volume 176, March 2023.

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