Modification of surface properties of a poly(dimethylsiloxane)-based elastomer, RTV11, upon exposure to seawater

Fernando Terán Arce, Recep Avci, Iwona B. Beech, Keith E. Cooksey, Barbara Wieelesworth-Cooksev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Atomic force microscopy (AFM) was combined with surface analytical techniques to investigate the rarely addressed issue of the effect of seawater on the surface properties of a selected fouling-release coating, silicon elastomer RTV11 (trademark of General Electric). The exposure of the RTV 11 surface to seawater resulted in a modification of its morphology and mechanical properties, as confirmed by AFM and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Surface modification was dependent on sample preparation and curing process, namely, curing agent concentration and relative humidity during curing. The RTV 11 surface remained largely unaltered for samples cured under 100% relative humidity. SEM and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy studies confirmed that the modified surface of RTV11 had the same elemental composition as the unexposed surface of the elastomer and showed excess Ca. However, the modified surface deformed plastically under load and was suffer than the original surface, No major change was found on surfaces exposed to nanopure water during similar times of exposure as in seawater, regardless of curing conditions. The rate of increase in the aggregate formation in seawater can be described by an exponential function, with a decay constant of ∼4.99 × 10 -3 min -1 and a pre-exponential factor of ∼1,77 × 10 -2 μm/min.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7217-7225
Number of pages9
Issue number17
StatePublished - Aug 15 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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