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The impact of coating hardness on the anti-barnacle efficacy of an embedded antifouling biocide

Journal article
Authors Emiliano Pinori
Hans-Björne Elwing
Mattias Berglin
Published in Biofouling
Volume 29
Issue 7
Pages 763-773
ISSN 0892-7014
Publication year 2013
Published at Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology
Pages 763-773
Language en
Keywords embedded biocide, coating hardness, low emission antifouling, coating penetration, barnacle, contact, water-absorption, release, tributyltin, ivermectin, strategies, settlement, cyprids, blends, paints, agents
Subject categories Chemical Sciences


The efficacy of antifouling coatings designed to minimise the release of biocide, either by embedded (non-covalent) or tethered (covalently bonded) biocides, relies on sufficient bioavailability of the active compound upon contact between the organism and the coating. This investigation is focused on whether coating hardness affects the efficacy of embedded coating systems. Two experimental, non-eroding and waterborne latex paint formulations composed mainly of polystyrene (PS) or polyvinyl versatate (PV) were chosen for their difference in mechanical properties measured in terms of Buchholz indentation resistance. Ivermectin was added to both formulations to a final concentration of 0.1% (w/v) and the steady state release rate was measured according to ISO 15181 at between 34 and 70ngcm(-2)day(-1) for both formulations. Field trials conducted over 3months showed significant differences in anti-barnacle efficacy between the formulations despite their similar release profiles. The softer PV coating showed complete anti-barnacle efficacy, ie no barnacles were detected, while the harder PS coating showed no efficacy against barnacle colonisation during the same time period. The results indicate a new antifouling strategy whereby a route of intoxication is triggered by the organism itself upon interaction with the coating and its embedded biocide. This finding opens new possibilities in controlling macrofouling by low emission antifouling coatings.

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