Over time;
commercial ships, yachts and all other floating platforms wet surfaces are
covered with weeds, seashells such as mussels, barnacles. This phenomenon
called biofouling. Because of this phenomenon, a new rough surface structure
has been formed. Resulting from this situation: friction coefficient of the
vessel increases whereas maneuverability decreases. It causes significant
increases in the operating costs of the vessel.1To prevent from that
situation with the development of chemical industry, antifouling paint contains
Tributyltin (TBT) started to be used since the 1960s.2 When the
investigations have proven that TBT based paints cause significant long-term
damage to marine life, especially marine organisms endocrine system TBT based
antifouling paints has been banned since 1 January 2008. Therefore, the new
generation antifouling paints containing zinc oxide started to use; which has
similar antifouling performance but has the less harmful effect on marine
life.3 But because of its harmful and long-standing effects on the marine
environment; the allowed amount of the zinc oxide that passes to water from the
paint is decreased from year to year in many countries. And in near future
usage of zinc oxide at marine paints will be completely banned.4 For this
reason, a new coating material must be developed to protect the wet surface as
much as possible from foreign organisms and keep it in a smooth structure. There are many
studies on antifouling properties of hydrogels and other substances. On the
basis of the idea of using hydrogels as a new coating material: fouling
organisms do not adhere to the skin of other sea creatures (fish, algae etc.)
but they settle down to rocks and similar seashells and other hard surfaces
such as metals. Hydrogels attract attention with their similarity to the skin
of sea creatures. 5 For example, Katsuyama found that polyelectrolyte hydrogels
avoid germination process against algae zoospores 6. Rasmussen described
toxic effects of some natural polymer gels and the chemically cross-linked
polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) gels to barnacle cypris7. Cao founded that of polymer
coatings of polysaccharides shows resistance to the adhesion of protein, algae,
and barnacles 8      In Takayuki Murosaki et.al’s studies,
various hydrogels have been investigated as a surface coating material on the
wet surfaces of vessels against fouling organisms. The study of the laboratory
and the field were mostly focused on the effects on the barnacles. During the
investigations, hydrogels with different active groups having both single
network structure and double network structure were used. Examples are PAAm,
PDMAAm, PHEMA, PHEA, PNAAMPS, PAMPS, PNaSS, PDMAPAAQ, PAAc / PAAm and PAMPS /
PAAM hydrogels. It is also used in hydrogels having active groups -OH, -SO3,
NH2, N (CH3) 2, CH3, N (CH3)  In the
laboratory tests, test setups were made by covering the floor with hydrogels
such as PAMPS / PAAm in the test pools produced from polystyrene and  the settlement activities of the barnacle
were observed 5 In the field tests, PAMPS / PAAm double netted hydrogels and
polyethylene plates as a control group were fixed to the stainless surface and
left in the sea. 9 In addition, the swelling properties and the properties of
the pores on the polyacrylamide-dextran hydrogels were investigated according
to the temperature of synthesis. In the experiments, PAAm / Dx hydrogels were
synthesized by crosslinking copolymerization method at 3 different temperatures
(+25, +5, -18). 10 Also in another study various double-walled hydrogels
(mostly hydrophilic) were obtained. The strengths of these hydrogels against
tensile forces and pressures were investigated and compared with single-walled
hydrogels. In addition, the resistance of the obtained hydrogels to wear has
been investigated. 11

From the
experiments about using hydrogels as surface protection materials showed that
hydrogels with hydroxyl and sulfonic groups have been found to be a successful
antifouling coating material. It has been observed that the electric charges of
hydrogels have no effect in protecting the surface from living organisms. The
longer the alkaline chain is, the greater the antifouling effect of the
hydrogel is observed. Negative results were obtained when hydroxides and
sulfonic acid groups were used together. 5This study consist of three main stages.  The first stage is that antifouling
composites will be selected to use in experiments with the help of the data
obtained from the literature review. Then the composites will be produced in
the laboratory. Changes in their optical properties during the gelation, drying
and swelling process will be studied with the steady-state fluorescence
technique. After obtaining results, diffusion and desorption coefficients will
be calculated. And the final step is to determine the antifouling properties of
the composites. Results from Laboratory and field tests will be used to
determine antifouling properties of the composites.

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