There is currently no hull coating available which will not foul. The only way to remove this fouling is to clean it off. Ship hull cleaning is an essential part of operating a vessel or a fleet efficiently and economically.
The best and most viable approach is to clean the ship 100% and to do so regularly and always before sailing if the ship has been stationary and has fouled for a long period.
Ship hulls must be protected with a system that lends itself to fast, effective underwater cleaning without risk of damage to the coating and without posing any kind of hazard to the environment. Ecospeed is this system.
Fast and efficient fouling control
1. Ecospeed improves with each underwater treatment
One of the many unique factors of this underwater hull coating system is that with repeated underwater hull cleaning, the coating’s surface aspect does not degrade but gradually improves. This procedure is made easy by the coating’s technical properties. Cleaning can be carried out whenever needed, at any point in its lifespan, without causing damage.
2. Long lay-up periods have no effect on the condition of the Ecospeed coating
The coating is suited for ships which have a stationary period because an impermeable and impenetrable barrier is created during application. This gives the coating its excellent and durable anti-corrosive properties and protects the underwater hull against mechanical damage. Despite the aggressive nature of certain types of fouling, no rust or damage to the steel will be present on the underwater hull of the vessel after cleaning. The hard fouling is unable to penetrate or damage the coating.
3. TBT-free, copper-free and biocide-free solution
Independent tests have been carried out to provide scientific data and to authenticate the non-toxicity of the Ecospeed hull performance technology. This research proved that the coating is 100% non-toxic and that there is no negative effect on the water quality or the marine environment at any point of its application or use.
4. The solution to the NIS problem
The underwater cleaning of Ecospeed prevents the spread of Non Invasive Species (NIS). The cleaning interval is optimized to minimize fouling. Regular cleaning prevents macrofouling from building up and at the same time presents an opportunity to inspect so-called niche areas. Most of the fouling organisms will be destroyed during cleaning. As long as only microfouling or locally acquired macrofouling is cleaned off the hull and niche areas, the risk of translocation of NIS via hull fouling is minimal.
5. Underwater cleanings on Ecospeed allowed
After the submission of the results of above-mentioned tests to port authorities and environmental agencies worldwide, several major ports have overturned the existing general ban on underwater hull cleaning, specifically making an exception for vessels coated with Ecospeed.
6. Specially designed equipment
Underwater maintenance of Ecospeed is carried out with specially designed underwater hull cleaning tools that simultaneously remove all fouling and optimize the smoothness of the paint surface. A complete line of equipment was designed in-house to allow divers to clean the flat areas as well as the harder to reach parts of the hull without damaging the coating.
7. Fewer and shorter drydockings
There has been a trend of extending the maximum drydock interval from five to seven and a half years or even ten years, if a stringent set of rules is followed. One of the requirements is the execution of a very strict underwater maintenance plan. Ecospeed’s qualities make the coating ideally suited for such a regime. Regular underwater cleaning will maintain and improve the ideal surface characteristics. The biggest barriers to ships staying out of drydock for 7.5 or more years are dealing with biofouling and maintaining hull coating integrity. Ecospeed allows ship owners/operators to overcome both these barriers.
Ecospeed can be cleaned underwater without risk of chemical pollution to the environment or of damage to the coating. The coating will improve in smoothness with each cleaning. Underwater maintenance of Ecospeed prevents the spread of NIS. For these reasons several economically important ports have already overturned the existing general ban on underwater hull cleaning, specifically making an exception for vessels coated with Ecospeed.
Ecospeed’s qualities also make the coating ideally suited for the very strict preventative underwater maintenance plan that is part of the requirements to extend a vessel’s drydock interval to 7.5 years.
Underwater maintenance of Ecospeed is carried out with in-house designed underwater hull cleaning equipment. This allows the cleaning of the flat areas as well as the harder to reach parts of the hull without damaging the coating.