Environmental protection concerns continue to drive the coatings industry to seek innovative and efficient solutions to problems that arise from biofouling on ship-hulls. Fouling Release coatings have historically been biocide-free due to a very limited effect of the biocides. This paper describes the introduction of biocides with hydrogel into Fouling Release technology. By fusing hydrogel-based Fouling Release technology with less than 5%w of the biocides used in conventional antifouling coatings, an antifouling performance exceeding that of conventional antifouling coatings, as well as state of the art Fouling Release coatings has been achieved. It is shown that the biocide release rate from the new technology does not depend on speed for velocities ranging between 0.2 and 20 knots (0.37 –37 km/h). However, at increasing temperatures, the biocide release rate increases, thereby matching the increase in fouling pressure. Taking together, the very long-term antifouling performance of the biocide-activated hydrogel, the fuel-efficiency of the binder system, the efficient utilization of biocides even at high speeds and low temperature, it is concluded the technology described here is both the most efficient and environmentally friendly Fouling Control coating available.

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