Changchun, China – Functional coatings to prevent fouling and corrosion are a critical form of protection on large cargo ships. However, gravel within the ocean can cause microcracks in the protective coatings, and the gradual loss of their antifouling and anticorrosion properties.
A group at Jilin University has created an alternative protective PU composite, inspired by the self-healing properties of cartilage’s collagen matrix. Their PU composites, MPU-FrGO, have repeatable self-healing functions.
The FrGO (functional reduced graphene oxide), and 2-methyl-4-isothiazoline-3-ketone, which is also added to the PU composite, confer both antifouling and anticorrosion activity. The resulting coatings had an antibacterial ability of 99.5%, and an antialgal inhibition coverage ability of 97.1%.
The two-dimensional structure of the FrGO enables both chemical and hydrogen bond crosslinks to form with the PU in MPU-FrGO. With 1%w/w of the FrGO added to the composite, this creates a super-strong spatial network, with both good mechanical properties and a strong self-healing ability: the self-healing efficiency could reach 91% after 15 minutes of near-IR irradiation. Its anticorrosive properties in salt water were also good.
The work has been published in the Chemical Engineering Journal.