The development of new antifouling paints requires understanding the parameters involved in antifouling activity and to develop new analytical tools for their evaluation. A series of biodegradable poly(ε-caprolactone-co
-δ-valerolactone) copolymers varying by molecular weight and composition were synthesized, characterized and formulated as antifouling paints. The physico-chemical properties such as hydration, degradation, erosion and lixiviation of paints were studied. Microfouling (bacteria and microalgae) was observed by microscopic observations in a short delay, whereas macrofouling colonization was observed by visual inspection during one year. The antifouling activity of paints was modified by varying the composition and molecular weight of copolymer. The crystallinity appears to play a major role in antifouling activity, however the involvement of other properties such as hydration, degradation or erosion remains difficult to understand. Confocal laser scanning and scanning electron microscopes were used for the evaluation of antifouling paints. Results show that microalgae seem to be a pertinent indicator of antifouling activity.
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