This article looks at how marine organisms attack, and accumulate on, underwater coated surfaces; the effects of this attack (fouling); and the strategies used in the design of coatings to control fouling. Marine biological fouling will occur on virtually all underwater surfaces, but it is the affixation to the underwater surfaces of ships that is economically most burdensome. The accumulation increases the turbulence of water flow along the hull and disrupts the hydrodynamic efficiency of the vessel, interrupting its streamlined passage through water. Growth rates vary with species, but without devices to deter growth, extremely heavy accumulations may become established within a few weeks. A foulant's adhesive has such a great affinity for the coating surface that preventing its spread across the surface is virtually impossible. This phenomenon has greatly confounded the development of foulant-release coatings. Until recently, virtually all successful antifouling coatings were based on the ability of the coating to deliver toxins into the very thin (lamella) zone of toxic water in the immediate vicinity of the paint film. Many other techniques have been, and continue to be examined. These include exposure to ultraviolet radiation, radioactive components, ultrasonic-induced adhesive rupture, application of electrical currents, as well as the use of hormones, heating/cooling devices, and even predatory bacteria. The basic types of fouling control coatings are described: soluble matrix systems, contact leaching systems, free association (diffusion) systems based on organotin compounds, self-polishing systems, tin-free ablative systems, toxicity of organotin compounds, foulant-release coatings, and several tin-free antifouling compositions bearing nonspecified toxins.

  • Availability:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Page Range: pp 50-56, 58-61, 63-65
  • Corporate Authors:

    Technology Publishing Company

    2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310
    Pittsburgh, PA  United States  15203
  • Authors:
    • Hare, C H
  • Publication Date: 2000-6


  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00795638
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 12 2000 12:00AM