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Marine Biofouling Protection: Design of Controlled Release Antifouling Paints

Søren Kiil1, Claus E. Weinell2, Diego Meseguer Yebra3, and Kim Dam-Johansen1. (1) Department of Chemical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Building 229, Kgs. Lyngby, DK-2800, Denmark, (2) Hempel A/S, Lundtoftevej 150, Kgs. Lyngby, DK-2800, Denmark, (3) Hempel, Carretera de Setmenat 108, Polinyà, E-08213, Spain

This work is concerned with the design and improvement of chemically-active ship bottom paints known as antifouling paints. The aims have been to illustrate the challenges involved in working with such multi-component, functional products and to show which scientific and engineering tools are available. The research in this field includes both purely empirical formulation and test methods and advanced tools including mathematical modelling of paint behaviour. First, the background of and problems associated with marine biofouling are presented. This is followed by a concise historical review showing the diverse ideas of biofouling control that have been tried over the years. The next section deals with the characterisation and working mechanisms of antifouling paints, detailing the various components and their function. Practical laboratory and field tests of antifouling paints are subsequently discussed. Then follows a section on mathematical modelling of antifouling paint behaviour illustrating how such quantitative tools can be used in the design and understanding of new and improved paint systems. The final issue raised is the approval of paint products, which is of great importance because antifouling paints contain active ingredients. The story ends with conclusions and a look ahead for new solutions to the marine biofouling challenge.