Biofouling

Definition - What does Biofouling mean?

Biofouling refers to the growth and accumulation of living organisms on (or in) a given structure or piece of equipment, particularity to the extent where the functionality of said equipment becomes negatively impacted or incapable of performing its purpose. Biofouling is a contributor to increased rates of corrosion in aquatic, marine and maritime applications.

Corrosionpedia explains Biofouling

Biofouling primarily refers to the accumulation of undesirable substances on the surfaces of submerged manmade structures in aquatic environments. Such surfaces include ships, buoys, pipes, cables and other underwater structures.

Biofouling promotes corrosion on metallic surfaces immersed in water due to:

  • Formation of a bacterial film on a metal's surface, which creates corrosion-causing electrochemical conditions at the base of the film
  • Disturbance of the concentration levels of dissolved oxygen and other chemicals
  • Disturbance of the pH at the metal's surface
  • Triggering of corrosion-inducing electrochemical reactions
  • Destabilized corrosion prevention measures due to continuous organic matter infiltration
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