Field Scale-up testing of Foul Release Coatings

Project ID: 5270
Principal Investigator: David Tordonato
Research Topic: Repair and Maintenance
Priority Area Assignments: 2013 (Zebra and Quagga Mussels), 2014 (Zebra and Quagga Mussels), 2015 (Zebra and Quagga Mussels)
Funded Fiscal Years: 2013, 2014 and 2015
Keywords: foul release coatings, scale up, zebra, quagga

Research Question

Is it possible to use foul release coatings to prevent the attachment of zebra and quagga mussels on Reclamation Infrastructure? Will existing foul release coatings provide a service life which is deemed acceptable to facility owners?

Need and Benefit

Impacts on Reclamation facilities due to zebra and quagga mussel infestations are currently being experienced at Reclamation facilities on the lower Colorado river. Overall impacts at Reclmation are expected to increase as mussels continue to reproduce and spread to other reserviors. While efforts to prevent the spread of mussels are underway at Reclamation as well as other federal, state, and local agencies, facility owners will need options keep hydraulic equipment functioning in the event of a mussel infestation. Foul release coatings offer one solution. While field studies have been underway for 4 years, management is unlikely to embrace new coatings technology unless it has been successfully demonstrated on actual equipment i.e. a scale up test. A successful test would give operations and maintenance personnel confidence that foul release products can stand up to the expected service environment.

Contributing Partners

Contact the Principal Investigator for information about partners.

Research Products

Bureau of Reclamation Review

The following documents were reviewed by experts in fields relating to this project's study and findings. The results were determined to be achieved using valid means.

Foul Release Coatings Scale-Up Testing - Parker Dam Trashrack: Fiscal Year 2014 Report (interim, PDF, 4.4MB)
By David Tordonato
Report completed on July 21, 2014

In 2012, a full-sized trashrack panel was fabricated and coated with four foul release coating systems. The goal of the project was to scale up several of the most promising foul release systems in order to assess their performance and durability characteristics under field conditions testing. A scheduled inspection was performed May 23–24, 2014. So far there has been minimal fouling in general. The foul release coaings are in good condition with minor mechanical damage observed.

Field Scale-up testing of Foul Release Coatings (final, PDF, 1.1MB)
By David Tordonato
Publication completed on September 30, 2015

In 2012, a full-sized trashrack panel was fabricated and coated with four (4) foul-release coating systems. The project goal was to scale-up several of the most promising foul-release systems to assess their performance and durability characteristics in field conditions. Fabrication and coating work was performed by Reclamation staff in the Materials Engineering Research Lab (MERL). The panel was shipped to the selected field test site, Parker Dam, on the lower Colorado River and installation was completed in December 2013. Inspections were performed May 20, 2014, December 1, 2014, and May 19, 2015. Damage occurred on the front facing surfaces of the trashrack where the trash rake guides scraped the surface. After 18 months of exposure, the silicone foul-release coatings had less damage than the hard epoxy siloxane hybrid. The inner surfaces of the trashrack panel bars were in good condition. No mussels appear to be attaching to the silicone foul-release coatings. However, a few mussels were found colonizing on the epoxy siloxane hybrid coating. The front surfaces of the original trashrack panels, coated with the coal tar enamel, and the new galvanized steel racks were damaged exposing bare steel due to the mechanical damage from the trash rake guides.


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Last Updated: 11/15/16