The accumulation of marine organisms on ship hulls, such as microorganisms, barnacles, and seaweeds, represents a global problem for maritime industries, with both economic and environmental costs. The use of biocide-containing paints poses a serious threat to marine ecosystems, affecting both target and non-target organisms driving science and technology towards non-biocidal solutions based on physico-chemical and materials properties of coatings. The review reports recent development of hydrophobic protective coatings in terms of mechanical properties, correlated with the wet ability features. The attention is focused mainly on coatings based on siloxane and epoxy resin due to the wide application fields of such systems in the marine industry. Polyurethane and other systems have been considered as well. These coatings for anti-fouling applications needs to be both long-term mechanically stable, perfectly adherent with the metallic/composite substrate, and capable to detach/destroy the fouling organism. Prospects should focus on developing even “greener” antifouling coatings solutions. These coatings should also be readily addressable to industrial scale-up for large-scale product distribution, possibly at a reasonable cost.
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