The present work reports on the influence of the dispersion quality of multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) in a silicone matrix on the marine fouling-release performance of the resulting nanocomposite coatings. A first set of coatings filled with different nanofiller contents was prepared by the dilution of a silicone/MWCNTs masterbatch within a hydrosilylation-curing polydimethylsiloxane resin. The fouling-release properties of the nanocomposite coatings were studied through laboratory assays with the marine alga (seaweed) Ova, a common fouling species. As reported previously (see Ref. ), the addition of a small (0.05%) amount of carbon nanotubes substantially improves the fouling-release properties of the silicone matrix. This paper shows that this improvement is dependent on the amount of filler, with a maximum obtained with 0.1 wt% of multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs). The method of dispersion of carbon nanotubes in the silicone matrix is also shown to significantly (p = 0.05) influence the fouling-release properties of the coatings. Dispersing 0.1% MWCNTs using the masterbatch approach yielded coatings with circa 40% improved fouling-release properties over those where MWCNTs were dispersed directly in the polymeric matrix. This improvement is directly related to the state of nanofiller dispersion within the cross-linked silicone coating.
- Fouling Release
- Carbon Nanotubes