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Content archived on 2024-04-19

High technology antifouling coatings for submarine sensors based on modelling and synthesis of natural antifouling processes


This is a multidisciplinary project which aims to engineer analogues to natural marine antifouling mechanisms as means to provide long term fouling resistance and hence extended life for marine sensors. A major part of the project involves extensive studies of the biological fouling defence mechanisms in three types of organisms which successfully resist fouling: echinoderms, natural sponges and dogfish (elasmobranch) egg cases. The studies include investigations of the physical and chemical properties of the natural surfaces so that this information may be used in the construction of the analogues.
The other major part of the project is a series of materials engineering studies directed to synthesise antifouling strategies which employ a number of defence mechanisms simultaneously. Such strategies will involve the use of both appropriate carrier materials and encapsulated active substances which must be available over an extended period to give the required useful life of the sensors. The various analogues must be compatible with a range of target sensors and substrata as well as being environmentally acceptable.

The project also includes full scale trials of new antifouling coatings on a range of sensors and commercial assessments of the successful materials.

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