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The impact of desiccation on the adhesion of barnacles attached to non-stick coatings

, : The impact of desiccation on the adhesion of barnacles attached to non-stick coatings. Biofouling 20(3): 147-153

Fouling-release coatings prevent fouling of ships' hulls through hydrodynamic forces generated as the ship moves through the water. The effectiveness of such coatings may be evaluated by measuring the adhesion strength of settled organisms, e.g . barnacles. The influence of desiccation of the barnacle adhesive on such measurements was investigated. Shear forces required to remove barnacles of the genus Balanus increased during the course of desiccation up to the point when the barnacles suddenly self-detached. The increase was thought to be due to the rising cohesive strength of the adhesive. Growing tensile forces within the weakly cross-linked adhesive, however, are suggested to have led to self-detachment. The shear forces required to remove barnacles of the genus Elminius were generally low and did not differ significantly during the course of desiccation. The different results may be attributed to specific base morphologies. It was concluded that measuring the adhesion strength of members of the Balanidae on non-stick surfaces in air could produce flawed results due to the influence of desiccation of the barnacle adhesive. The investigations have also provided new insights into the characteristics of barnacle adhesive.


PMID: 15545064

DOI: 10.1080/08927010400001147

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