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Performance of hydrogel coatings for fouling reduction

Hydrogels containing the appropriate active compound are effective at preventing both hard and soft marine fouling organisms. Trials in the Clyde estuary have shown that impregnated gels are highly effective at preventing fouling for up to three months.

The development of algal biofilms on optical sensors is initially important and may significantly impair instrument readings. However, subsequent macrofouling may completely obliterate the signals in some instrumentation. Panel trials were specifically designed to test the anti-fouling properties of impregnated hydrogels against microfouling and, more importantly, the peak settlement of a major-fouling organism Semi-balanus balanoides. The hydrogels coatings have been shown to be able to prevent the majority of settlement during the intensive barnacle and mussel settlement seasons.

The time that gel protected instruments are deployed before this settlement season does not appear to effect their macro-antifouling ability, as long as the deployment prior to settlement does not exceed the working life of the hydrogels (c.a. 3 months).

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Reported by

Glasgow Marine Technology Centre
University of Glasgow
G12 8QQ Glasgow
United Kingdom
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