“Dirt-Resistant” Coating Enables Easier Removal of Biofouling Organisms, Graffiti, Ice Etc. (RFT-380, 496, 551, 572, 588, 596, 610, 613)

Invention Summary

Scientists at NDSU have developed a series of coating technologies around a siloxane-polyurethane backbone. These coatings have amphiphilic surfaces, which reduce the adherence of fouling organisms and materials. These are self-stratifying coatings, which incorporate hydrophilic materials (e.g. polyethylene glycol (PEG) or poly(sulfobetaine methacrylate) (poly(SMBA)) within a hydrophobic base.  As the coating cures, the hydrophilic component migrates toward the surface, which becomes highly irregular with respect to binding affinity for ‘ fouling’ materials and organisms. The hydrophobic sections interfere with materials that bind to charged surfaces.  The hydrophilic sections interfere with materials that bind to uncharged surfaces. As a result, this technology creates an opportunity to develop a range of coatings that are easier to clean. Applications include oil-based marine and industrial coatings where polyurethane is a suitable base.  This portfolio includes variations in both the hydrophobic backbone and the hydrophilic component, which leads to a range of fouling-release capabilities that are applicable to multiples marine and industrial settings.

Benefits to be found within this portfolio

  • Introduces fouling release properties to polyurethane coatings
  • Comparable fouling release properties to industry standard
  • Mechanical performance significantly improved over silicone elastomers
  • Excellent adhesion eliminates the need for a separate tie-coat
  • Enables easier removal of fouling organisms and materials, making restoration of surfaces much more practical than with existing anti-fouling coatings
  • Anti-icing performance on marine, airborne, and land-based surfaces


This technology is patented in the U.S. and is available for licensing/partnering opportunities. Relevant Patents:


NDSU Research Foundation


RFT, 380, RFT380, 496, RFT496, 551, RFT551, 572, RFT572, 588, RFT588, 596, RFT596, 610, RFT610, 613, RFT613

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