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Rudders on a roro vessel protected against cavitation with Ecospeed

restrictions on fouling. The US Coast Guard now require a biofouling plan as part of ballast water management plans. Ships now receive an environmental rating, in which environmental friendliness of the hull coating is a significant part.

CARROTS AND STICKS There are carrots as well as sticks: the Environmental Ship Index (ESI) is backed by the World Ports for Climate Initiative who offer positive cash incentives and/or reduced port fees to ships which are improving their environmental credentials. This is a trust-based system backed up by confidential environmental audits. To underline the significance of fuel costs,

slow steaming as a means to cut consumption has become a fact of life for many ship operators – a huge shift from recent years when speed was all-important. Now ultra-slow steaming is being realistically proposed as the easiest way to reduce consumption, with suggested speeds as low as 7 knots. This approach is being fed back into the design of some new ships. Slow steaming however presents its own problems for coatings manufacturers, particularly for silicone coatings requiring higher speeds to be able to shed fouling.

MARKET ROUNDUP This is a roundup of the current main product lines.

Chukogu Marine Paints introduced SEAFLO

NEO in 2011. The product is a hydrolysis antifouling coating, using polymers to deliver a smooth surface and designed to reduce the orange-peel effect with self-polishing. Active anti- fouling constituents include Cuprous oxide, and a version of Irgarol, a photosynthesis inhibitor.

The coating is designed to develop a film which reduces hull friction resistance by controlling surface tension. Chukogu claims an antifouling effect for more than 60 months. Hempel produces both biocidal anti-fouling

coatings and biocide-free foul release coatings. Anticorrosive protection and fouling-free performance for up to 90 months are claimed for the HEMPASIL range, which use silicone-based compounds to create a non-stick surface. A hydrogel micro layer prevents fouling organisms from firmly adhering, while silicone polymers facilitate self-cleaning. Hempel recommend the product for service speeds above 8 knots. The company’s ANTIFOULING DYNAMIC

79540 is a self-polishing antifouling based on a hydrolysing silyl acrylate binder, and containing two types of active ingredients. Hempels Malte V. Eggers says “In light of the

increasing environmental and legislative pressure we as a responsible paint producer are constantly looking into finding the right balance between customer’s requirements in terms of performance and cost. Reducing the levels of active ingredients will normally lead to a reduction of the product performance which again will lead to increased fuel consumption. Already today a significant amount of the total maritime fuel consumption is directly linked to non-optimal performance of fouling control products. For this reason Hempel spends a significant amount of R&D resources in finding ways to reduce the level of active ingredients and at the same time increase product performance.” Hydrex’s Ecospeed is the only broadly

available non-biocidal and silicone-free hull coating, making it entirely environmentally neutral. Ecospeed consists of a vinyl ester


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