Porous silicone-based organogel against biofouling

A new study presents a foaming process-induced organogel for low biofouling adhesion with improved long-term stability.

A ship.
Excellent anti-fouling performance was observed for the test panels in practical marine environments.  Image source: JosepMonter - Pixabay (symbol image).

Smart lubricant-infused surfaces (LIS) are expected to bring breakthroughs in anti-fouling materials due to their excellent anti-biofouling performance, but the challenges still remain in developing durable LIS. Now, the structure of LIS was systematically designed, and realised by an inspiration of foaming process, thereby a large lubricant storage capacity and self-replenishing silicone-based organogel coating with improved long-term stability was prepared.

High anti-biofouling efficiency

The surface of LIS was constructed of micropores, many independent cavities were built inside, and the bottom was bonded to substrate without defects. Relying on the well-designed structure and the good permeability of silicone oil in PDMS, the lubricant storage capacity reached 0.2 g/cm2, and the lubricant lost on surface was well replenished from the lubricant stored inside, which made the local surface damage almost repair within 60 min, and the lubricant retention rate still remained 85% under the 15-day seawater scouring. Further, due to its good stability the LIS surface, showed an anti-biofouling efficiency close to 99.5%.

The study has been published in Progress in Organic Coatings, Volume 167, June 2022.

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