Molecular approaches to nontoxic antifouling
A consequence of environmental and human health concerns arising from the use of toxic metals in marine antifouling coatings has been to recognise the need for a nontoxic alternative to fouling control. Recent research has focused on two approaches to this problem: the development of (a) foul-release coatings that work on the principle of either low surface free energy or coating ablation, and (b) coatings that incorporate a compound(s) that is nontoxic, or at least environmentally benign, that will deter fouling. Here we discuss the nature of the fouling problem and a new technology that is emerging to address it. The use of natural marine products and of analogues to these compounds holds considerable promise and is an area of intense research. It is recognized, however, that a melding of the technologies of foul-release and foul-deterrence may be required to develop broad spectrum, nontoxic antifouling coatings. This approach may more closely reflect antifouling strategies adopted by marine organisms that maintain a foul-free surface. © 1992 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
Clare, AS; Rittschof, D; Gerhart, DJ; Maki, JS
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