New horizons in marine antifouling coatings

Demirel, Yigit Kemal and Turan, Osman and Incecik, Atilla (2013) New horizons in marine antifouling coatings. In: Marine Coatings Conference, 2013-04-18.

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Abstract

Marine biofouling of mobile and stationary maritime structures is a significant problem from not only economical but also an environmental point of view. It leads to increased fuel consumption and hence increased greenhouse gas emissions as well as to transportation of harmful non-indigenous species. Antifouling coatings are widely used to avoid or to minimise fouling as the most effective way. The antifouling coatings containing tributyltin (TBT), which is a toxic biocide, were highly preferred for decades since they have low initial roughness and perfect antifouling properties, besides they do not need maintenance for a long time. Nevertheless, the research demonstrated that TBT has a lot of negative effects on marine environment. As a consequence, IMO banned the applications of antifouling coatings containing TBT in 2003 and the operations of ships if they were coated with TBT containing paints in 2008. Therefore, the research on alternative antifouling coating systems that are not harmful to environment has been accelerated. This paper aims at introducing new horizons and novel approaches in marine antifouling coatings such as bio-inspired coatings. Firstly, marine biofouling and fouling prevention methods are introduced briefly. Afterwards, some recent novel and environmentally friendly antifouling approaches and the latest research are presented. Then, several biomimetic approaches and bio-inspired antifouling strategies, namely chemical, physical and stimuli-responsive strategies, are presented as well as the challenges in designing bio-inspired antifouling coatings are discussed in detail. It is believed that, the current research on antifouling coatings will lead to very effective prevention of marine biofouling while maintaining the harmony between man-made structures and marine life.