Marine Non-biocidal Antifouling Coatings
Marine Non-biocidal Antifouling Coatings from Amphiphilic Polymer Blends
Department of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry and INSTM UdR Pisa
University of Pisa, Italy
via Risorgimento 35, 56126 Pisa, Italy
Tuning of the properties at a molecular level of the surface of a polymer coating may lead to breakthroughs in the field of marine biofouling where interfacial interactions, operating within a few nanometers of a surface, are critical. For example, larvae of invertebrates and spores of algae are highly selective in their preferences for certain surfaces. Several interfacial properties of the surface have been shown to act either as cues that moderate initial settlement of the fouling organism, or factors that determine adhesion strength.
Recent advances in combatting marine biofouling by environment benign, non-biocidal coatings span from use of hybrid polymer nanocomposites and biomimetic polymeranalogue platforms to lithographically patterned films and plasma assisted Chemical modifications of polymeric surfaces.
In our approach 2–4 we devised novel low elastic modulus and low surface energy coatings by the homogeneous dispersion of variously engineered amphiphilic polymers in a polymer blend. We show that the surface morphological, topological and compositional nano- to micro-scale complexities of the surface-segregated polymer film add synergistically to enhance release of marine biofouling organisms in laboratory bioassays and field test trials.
Examples of antifouling performance include the fields of shipping, oceanographic instrumentation, fish farming and power plant inlets.
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Nature Commun., 244 (2011).
2. I. Marabotti et al.,
Biofouling, 25, 481 (2009).
3. E. Martinelli et al.,
Biofouling, 28, 571 (2012).
4. M. Atlar et al.,
Biofouling, 39, 29 (2013).
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