Antifouling paints

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Definition of antifouling paints:
A marine paint containing poisonous ingredients which prevent or retard fouling or marine underwater growth on ship bottoms, hulls, nets, piles, etc.
This is the common definition for antifouling paints, other definitions can be discussed in the article


Previously antifouling chemicals contained tributyltin (TBT) that was banned in 2001 by IMO (Antifouling Convention). Nowadays antifouling chemicals often contain substituting compounds such as copper. Paint manufacturers are continuously studying the possibility of introducing improved and sophisticated antifouling material and the formulas used are mostly kept secret by the blenders or manufacturers. [1].

New non-toxic erodable antifouling paints are based on biodegradable polymers that are devoid of toxicity towards marine environments[2].

Antifouling can also be achieved by special surface structures on ship hulls.


  1. Sullivan P (ed.), 1999. Eric Sullivan's encyclopaedic dictionary. 6th edition. LPP Reference Publishing.
  2. Fay, F., Gouessan, M., Linossier, I. and Rehel, K. 2019. Additives for Efficient Biodegradable Antifouling Paints. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 20, 361

The main author of this article is Job Dronkers
Please note that others may also have edited the contents of this article.

Citation: Job Dronkers (2022): Antifouling paints. Available from [accessed on 13-06-2024]