Strategies

Nanotechnology Based Materials

Nano-properties of surfaces inpart determine how fouling organisms adhere and biofouling progresses. This technology is in its infancy but can be used to design new, biocide free surfaces with fouling deterrent and/or fouling release properties. Additionally, nano-particles give a very high surface area and therefore can result in faster and higher affectivity.

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Methodology

Nano/micro topography can be achieved through various methods. A wide range of concepts are covered, including coatings with carefully controlled nano- and micro-structures, polymer based nanocomposites, superhydrophobic/superhydrophilic systems and ‘smart’ or ‘stimulus-responsive’ polymer systems.

Key Factors Positive

- Nanostructuring of a surface coating can control properties such as surface energy, charge, conductivity, porosity, roughness, wettability, friction, physical and chemical reactivity, and compatibility with biological organisms.

Key Factors Negative

- Technology is in its infancy, hence there are a lack of products.
- Nano-materials are generally very expensive.

Cost Benefit

It is very likely, certainly initially, that product cost will be high.

Conclusions/ Discussion

This development could on the long term be delivering the next generation of
biocide-free antifoulings.

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