The effect of incorporation of silicone oils into a siloxane-polyurethane fouling-release coatings system was explored. Incorporation of phenylmethyl silicone oil has been shown to improve the fouling-release performance of silicone-based fouling-release coatings through increased interfacial slippage. The extent of improvement is highly dependent upon the type and composition of silicone oil used. The siloxane-polyurethane (SiPU) coating system is a tough fouling-release solution, which combines the mechanical durability of polyurethane while maintaining comparable fouling-release performance with regard to commercial standards. To further improve the fouling-release performance of the siloxane-PU coating system, the use of phenylmethyl silicones oils was studied. Coatings formulations were prepared incorporating phenylmethyl silicone oils having a range of compositions and viscosities. Contact angle and surface energy measurements were conducted to evaluate the surface wettability of the coatings. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) depth profiling experiments demonstrated self-stratification of silicone oil along with siloxane to the coating-air interface. Several coating formulations displayed improved or comparable fouling-release performance to commercial standards during laboratory biological assay tests for microalgae (Navicula incerta), macroalgae (Ulva linza), adult barnacles (Balanus amphitrite syn. Amphibalanus amphitrite), and mussels (Geukensia demissa). Selected silicone-oil-modified siloxane-PU coatings also demonstrated comparable fouling-release performance in field immersion trials. In general, modifying the siloxane-PU fouling-release coatings with a small amount (1–5 wt % basis) of phenylmethyl silicone oil resulted in improved performance in several laboratory biological assays and in long-term field immersion assessments.
- siloxane-polyurethane coatings
- phenylmethyl silicone oil
- fouling release coatings
- field immersion assessments