Antifouling/Fouling Release Coatings Program

A significant limit to the performance of any marine platform arises from surface fouling by marine organisms. The response to this is to develop nontoxic approaches to antifouling and fouling release coatings. The state-of-the-art antifouling coatings are copper rosin or copper self-polishing coatings, while fouling-release coatings are silicone-based. The overall program is broad with contributions from surface and adhesion science, analytical chemistry, and marine biology. Portions of this program are allied with the polymer science programs and are focused on the synthesis of new coatings. Current approaches include improved silicones, low surface energy coatings, amphiphilic, zwitterionic-containing and textured/patterned coatings with complex topographies.

The long-term goals of this Office of Naval Research (ONR) program are to develop new approaches to antifouling or foul-release coatings with the following attributes: nontoxic or environmentally benign; durable in order to allow 12-year dry-dock intervals; improved anti-fouling performance over existing copper-based paints. As marine fouling involves living organisms, there is a close cooperation between this program and programs maintained by Dr. Linda Chrisey of the ONR Human and Bioengineered Systems Division. ONR welcomes research ideas and suggestions from a variety of scientific and technical disciplines.


  • Hull coatings for all ships

Program Contact Information

Name: Dr. Paul Armistead

Title: Program Officer

Department: Code 33

Email for Questions:

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