Marine anti-biofouling system with poly(ε-caprolactone)/clay composite as carrier of organic antifoulant
We have prepared poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL)/clay composites by solution mixing. Our studies demonstrate that such a composite has higher degradation rate in seawater and significantly improved adhesion strength in comparison with PCL because the presence of clay decreases the spherulite size of PCL but slightly changes the crystallinity as revealed by polarizing optical microscope (POM) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) measurements. The PCL/clay composite can serve as carrier of antifoulants, in which the antifoulants are uniformly released as PCL degrades. Marine field tests reveal that the PCL/clay/antifoulant system has good anti-biofouling ability due to its property of self-renewal and uniform release of antifoulants.