Archive: New tools to improve of foul-release coatings?
Foul-release coatings available on the market can effectively prevent macrofouling formation. After some years in service they cannot prevent biofilm formation. Funded by the ONR, researchers of the Duke University developed a new material which works by physically moving at the microscopic level to detach even bacteria from the elastomer surface. Under electrical or pneumatic actuation the elastomer surface can be deformed and shall remove bacteria and barnacles. The authors claim that the bio-inspired dynamic surface can be fabricated over large areas through simple and practical processes and is complementary with existing foul-release coatings at the market. This new technology shall avoid any increase in drag by biofilm formation which is up to now a disadvantage of foul-release coatings which can reduce fuel costs as long as they are not covered by biofilms.
Source of Graph:
Shivapooja, P., Q. Wang, B. Orihuela, D. Rittschof, G. P. López & X. Zhao (2013): Bioinspired surfaces with dynamic topography for active control of biofouling. Advanced Materials 25(10), 1430-1434.