In 1993 we began researching and developing a new, long-lasting, non-toxic method of protecting ship hulls: Ecospeed. The coating system was introduced into the market in 2002.
Ecospeed is an environmentally safe underwater hull coating system that improves a ship's performance and provides it with long-term protection. It consists of a unique, entirely original and thoroughly proven system that combines the advantages of an easy-to-apply superior coating, a surface treatment for hydrodynamic optimization and a long term underwater maintenance service system. Ecospeed can be applied to all types of vessels, both newbuild and existing vessels.
The benefits for ships facing harsh icy conditions are durability, corrosion protection of the steel and resistance to impact with ice. In short: protecting the asset, the hull of the ship. Ecospeed is a certified abrasion resistant coating. Owners are allowed to reduce the thickness of the steel of the ice belt if this area is coated with Ecospeed. This gives them a significant financial benefit during newbuild projects. Ecospeed is one of only a few coatings that have received this certificate.
British Antarctic Survey’s RRS (Royal Research Ship) Ernest Shackleton is one of our best references. Ecospeed was applied to this ice-breaker eleven years ago in 2009. Since then the ship has docked several times. Only a few liters were required for small touch-ups. The second docking took place after operating for four years in severe ice conditions. Following the performance on Ernest Shackleton, the hard coating was applied in 2015 to the hull of sister ship, RRS James Clark Ross. Results were again exemplary. Ecospeed has also been applied to RRS Sir David Attenborough. The 15,000gt research vessel, which was officially named in September last year, is one of the most advanced polar research vessels in the world.
Cruise and ferry
A second focus is on cruise ships and ferries. While these vessels also benefit greatly from the corrosion protection Ecospeed offers, the efficiency of hulls treated with the coating system is maybe even more important. Ecospeed is applied once and can be cleaned as often as needed without restrictions and without damage to the coating. Even long stationary periods of six months or longer in tropic waters offer no problem. Ecospeed is designed to be cleaned. Other products also have to be cleaned, but were not designed for this. Foul-release coatings are not meant for cleaning, but to keep their speed they have to be cleaned anyway.
Cleanings are easy to organize because these ships are sailing on a fixed route. Ferries go from a to b and back and cruise vessels also go to fixed points with a schedule that is know well in advance. We can therefore easily implement a cleaning schedule. This allows owners to keep the friction of the hull low.
All members of our coating family are ecologically safe. When we started to develop Ecospeed back in 1998, this was one of our main goals. It still is.
Independent tests were 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% free of toxic substances and that there is no negative effect on the water quality or the marine environment at any point of its application or use. Moreover, the massive amounts of VOC and zinc anode emission associated with conventional hull coating systems are reduced to almost zero.
Ecospeed and biofouling
The underwater cleaning of Ecospeed prevents the spread of biofouling entirely. The cleaning frequency is optimized to minimize fouling. This prevents macrofouling from building up.
Underwater hull maintenance is carried out with specially designed underwater cleaning tools that simultaneously clean and optimize the smoothness of our coatings. This can be repeated whenever needed during the vessel’s lifespan without causing damage to the coating’s surface. It even significantly improves their hydrodynamic characteristics, keeping the surface hydrodynamically smooth and producing a major saving in fuel.
Several major ports have overturned the existing general ban on underwater hull cleaning, specifically making an exception for vessels coated with Ecospeed.
Contact us for more information
+ 32 3 213 5318