Superhydrophobic resistance to dynamic freshwater biofouling inception

Superhydrophobic nanotextured surfaces have gained increased usage in various applications due to their non-wetting and self-cleaning abilities. The aim of this study was to investigate nanotextured surfaces with respect to their resistance to the inception of freshwater biofouling at transitional flow conditions. Several coatings were tested including industry standard polyurethane (PUR), polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), capstone mixed polyurethane (PUR + CAP) and nanocomposite infused polyurethane (PUR + NC). Each surface was exposed to freshwater conditions in a lake at 4 m s−1 for a duration of 45 min. The polyurethane exhibited the greatest fouling elements, in terms of both height and number of elements, with the superhydrophobic nanocomposite based polyurethane (PUR + NC) showing very little to no fouling. A correlation between the surface characteristics and the degree of fouling inception was observed.