Incorporation of silicone oil into elastomers enhances barnacle detachment by active surface strain.
Silicone-oil additives are often used in fouling-release silicone coatings to reduce the adhesion strength of barnacles and other biofouling organisms. This study follows on from a recently reported active approach to detach barnacles, which was based on the surface strain of elastomeric materials, by investigating a new, dual-action approach to barnacle detachment using Ecoflex®-based elastomers incorporated with poly(dimethylsiloxane)-based oil additives. The experimental results support the hypothesis that silicone-oil additives reduce the amount of substratum strain required to detach barnacles. The study also de-coupled the two effects of silicone oils (ie surface-activity and alteration of the bulk modulus) and examined their contributions in reducing barnacle adhesion strength. Further, a finite element model based on fracture mechanics was employed to qualitatively understand the effects of surface strain and substratum modulus on barnacle adhesion strength. The study demonstrates that dynamic substratum deformation of elastomers with silicone-oil additives provides a bifunctional approach towards management of biofouling by barnacles.
Shivapooja, P; Cao, C; Orihuela, B; Levering, V; Zhao, X; Rittschof, D; López, GP
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