Anti-fouling treatments for ships
Antifouling paints is used on the hull of a boat to prevent the growth of organisms such as barnacles or wees on the hull. The most common way to control marine fouling is to use copper or organotin compounds dispersed in a degradable polymer matrix to produce an antifouling coating. The copper or organotin compounds serves as biocides that impede growth of organisms on the hull. By the degradation of the polymer matrix, the coating surface is always “fresh” and new copper of organotin is available on the surface. However, copper and organotin compounds are toxic and are not desirable for use in marine environments, and therefore there is a desire to use other more environmental friendly alternatives.
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One attempt to create a more environmental friendly antifouling paint is presented in US2007059273. The coating according to the document is made from chitosan which has low toxicity, is biocompatible and biodegradable. Chitosan is crosslinked with a blocked polyisocyanate. Chitosane is biodegradable by chitanase enzymes, lysozyme and other enzymes and the rate of crosslinking will control the rate of degradation. Chitanase enzyme is produced by marine organisms, and thus, the coating will degrade under pressure from the organisms that attaches the surface of the coating with surface ablation as a result.