Last year our specialist hull and rudder coatings (Ecospeed and Ecoshield respectively) were applied to two newbuild projects in Turkey, with a third planned for 2018. A shallow draught anchor handling tug supply (AHTS) vessel was coated at the Atlas Shipyard in Gölcük and an oil tanker was given the same treatment at the Akdeniz Shipyard in Ceyhan.
The best protection for ice-going vessels
The owners of the AHTS vessel selected our coatings amidst strong competition because of their proven performance in polar waters. The Ice-Class 1A, 65m tug will carry out anchor handling and oil recovery duties in the ecologically sensitive Arctic in compliance with the IMO Polar Code requirements.
Orkun Çomuoğlu who is the managing director at Amat Engineering, Subsea Industries’ agent in Turkey secured the contract and said: “This is a super ice-class vessel and required extensive hull protection for the operations the vessel will undertake.”
Manuel Hof, Production Executive and NACE Coatings Inspector at Subsea Industries, explained that the Polar Code recommends the application of abrasion resistant, low friction coatings to vessels operating in ice-covered waters.
“There is a risk that conventional anti-foulings can degrade rapidly in polar ice, leach chemicals or leave paint fragments behind when ice impacts damage the coating. There is no such risk with a hard-type coating. Ecospeed and Ecoshield are tough, durable and highly abrasion resistant protective coatings.” said Hof.
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.
RRS Ernest Shackleton, RRS James Clark Ross and HMS Protector, all of British Antarctic Survey, have been coated with our products with great and conclusive results. Our coatings have also been selected for the newbuild research vessel RRS Sir David Attenborough, the biggest commercial shipbuilding contract in Britain for 30 years. Many other successful applications on ice going hulls have shown that our coating can withstand the impact of ice for many years on end, proving its superior strength and durability.
Easy to apply on newbuild and existing vessels
During the building process (or drydockings) there is a lot more going on than just the hull coating, which can easily interfere with the planning of a project. Because our coatings have quick and flexible overcoating times, application can be scheduled around other work taking place. For both the shipyards in Turkey this was a big benefit as it resulted in minimal interference with their other activities.
Ecospeed only requires two layers of 500 µm each. This is a major advantage compared with other hull coatings. A classic antifouling coating systems can easily have five or more coating layers that need to be applied and some of the newer silicone based hull coatings also consist of four to five layers of coating. Compared to this a two coat application is quicker, cheaper and more flexible.
The coating schedule can be adapted to that of the yard and it does not have to be the other way around. A traditional paint application schedule is defined by surface preparation and by the weather conditions, which are difficult to predict. The application of Ecospeed is easier to adapt to the application windows that become available. You can apply the coating quite rapidly on a prepared surface and the possible overcoat time ranges from three hours to very extended periods of time. Depending on whatever suits the owner’s or the shipyard’s schedule the second coat can be applied within a couple of hours or after a few weeks or even months.
The durability of Ecospeed makes the planning of future drydockings far easier for the shipowner and the shipyard. Shipowners will not have to do any repainting beyond minor touch-ups. These can easily be done during a short drydock visit, which is in contrast to the full renewal of paint layers that is needed with other paint systems.
The amount of time many ships spend in drydock is directly related to (re)painting the underwater hull. When this can be taken out of the equation for the choice of location and season for drydocking, then the story becomes a lot easier for superintendents, for the shipyards, for everybody involved.
The purpose of Ecospeed is to offer a long-lasting, non-toxic protection to all types of ships. This is done by providing a system that keeps the hull very smooth and free of fouling for the service life of the vessel with minimal repair and no replacement.