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Marine Fouling Release Silicone/Carbon Nanotube Nanocomposite Coatings: On the Importance of the Nanotube Dispersion State

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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) Ulva, a common fouling species. As reported previously (see Ref. [19]), 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.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2010-05-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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