Progress in biomimetic leverages for marine antifouling using nanocomposite coatings

Natural biomimetic surfaces have the advantages of micro-/nanoroughness and minimised free energy characteristics that can motivate the dynamic fabrication of superhydrophobic antifouling surfaces.

A man painting a vessel as a symbol image.

A new review provides an architectural panorama of the biomimetic antifouling designs and their key leverages to broaden horizons in the controlled fabrication of nanocomposite building blocks as force-driven marine antifouling models. As primary antifouling designs, understanding the key functions of surface geometry, heterogeneity, superhydrophobicity, and complexity of polymer/nanofiller composite building blocks on fouling-resistant systems is crucial.

Wide range of fouling release coating systems

The review also discusses a wide range of fouling release coating systems that satisfy the growing demand in a sustainable future environment. For instance, the integration of block, segmented copolymer-based coatings and inorganic–organic hybrid nanofillers enhanced the model’s antifouling properties with mechanical, superhydrophobic, chemically inert, and robust surfaces. These nanoscale antifouling systems offered surfaces with minimised free energy, micro-/nanoroughness, anisotropic heterogeneity, superior hydrophobicity, tunable non-wettability, antibacterial efficiency, and mechanical robustness.

The confined fabrication of nanoscale orientation, configuration, arrangement, and direction along the architectural composite building blocks would yield excellent air-entrapping ability along the interfacial surface grooves and interfaces, which optimised the antifouling coating surfaces for long-term durability.

The review has been published in Journal of Materials Chemistry B.

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