Using textured PDMS to prevent settlement and enhance release of marine fouling organisms

M J. Vucko, James Cook University
A J. Poole, CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering
C Carl, James Cook University
B A. Sexton, CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering
F L. Glenn, CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering
Steve W. Whalan, Southern Cross University
R de Nys, James Cook University

Document Type Article

Abstract

The antifouling efficacy of a series of 18 textured (0.2–1000 μm) and non-textured (0 μm) polydimethylsiloxane surfaces with the profiles of round- and square-wave linear grating was tested by recording the settlement of fouling organisms in the laboratory and in the field by monitoring the recruitment of a multi-species fouling community. In laboratory assays, the diatoms Nitzschia closterium and Amphora sp. were deterred by all surface topographies regardless of texture type. Settlement of propagules of Ulva sp. was lower on texture sizes less than the propagule size, and settlement of larvae of Saccostrea glomerata and Bugula neritina was lower on texture sizes closest to, but less than, the sizes of larvae. After a six month field trial, all textured surfaces lost their deterrent effect; however, the foul-release capabilities of textures were still present. High initial attachment was correlated with most fouling remaining after removal trials, indicating that fouling organisms recruited in higher numbers to surfaces upon which they attached most strongly.