Comply with environmental regulations thanks to our performance technology

Our underwater coating systems offer a TBT-free, copper-free and biocide-free solution for the protection of your vessel. Our protection and performance systems are the Best Available Technology for reduction of fuel consumption, GHG and other emissions through improved hull hydrodynamics and fouling control.

100% non-toxic

Stringent independent tests were carried out in the Netherlands to provide scientific data and to authenticate the non-toxicity of our coatings. Similar testing was conducted in Canada with the same results. This research proved that the coatings are 100% non-toxic and that there is no negative effect on the water quality or the marine environment at any point of their use. The massive amounts of VOC and zinc anode emission associated with conventional coating systems are reduced to almost zero.

Getting rid of repeated  environmental hazards

All our systems require only two coats of 500 µm each applied to bare steel, aluminum or glass-reinforced plastic (GRP). No primer, no midcoat, no tiecoat, no topcoat are needed; just two layers forming a homogeneous protective coating. They are applied once in the life of the vessel which is a major advantage compared with other coatings. If you reapply three to four layers of antifouling coating and are re-doing the above every three to five years, you inevitably come to a point where there are too many layers on the ship’s hull. This will degrade the quality of the coating even more easily and rapidly because of the internal stresses being built up, resulting in a required full reblast. A big environmental hazard is created each time. Repeat applications mean repeated VOCs and repeated debris when the conventional coatings are removed.

Easy and environmentally friendly fouling removal: solving the NIS problem

Over the last several years there have been concerns that non-indigenous species (NIS) are transported by fouled hulls even more than in ballast water. Once a hull becomes heavily fouled there is an increased risk of transporting NIS. This needs to be remedied either by out-of-water removal or by underwater cleaning. In this respect, underwater cleaning has come under some scrutiny out of fear that viable NIS are released and spread by the operation, rather than contained and disposed of. Several ports and countries have banned underwater cleaning out of concerns of pulse release of biocides and an increased risk of transferring NIS.

Another important outcome of the independent test was the submission of the results to port authorities and environmental agencies worldwide in order to allow the underwater treatment of our coating systems. As a result several economically important ports have made an exception to the ban and this only for our coatings. These ports recognize the negative impact of biocidal paints and want to support environmentally safe solutions.

Underwater hull maintenance is carried out with specially designed underwater hull 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 bringing about a major saving in fuel.

Fuel savings reduce ecological impact tremendously

The emission of greenhouse gases (GHG) such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxides (NOx) as well as pollutants such as sulfur oxides (SOx) and particulate matter (PM) into the earth’s atmosphere by the burning of fossil fuels to drive ships is of increasing concern internationally.

Underwater ship hulls are subject to biofouling, as micro-organisms and vegetable and animal matter naturally attach to a ship’s hull. A fouled hull carries with it a fuel penalty. The worse the fouling, the slower the ship will sail at a given RPM. More power will be required to keep the ship sailing at a given speed. This means higher fuel consumption. Depending on the degree of fouling, this can be as much as 85% more. Higher fuel consumption results in more greenhouse gases and other emissions which pollute the earth’s atmosphere.

On a global scale the potential for the reduction in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions is enormous. The annual fuel consumption by the world fleet is estimated at 350 million tonnes. This implies an annual CO2 output of approximately 850 million - 1.1 billion tonnes. If 80% of the world fleet would switch from biocidal antifoulings to our coating systems, this would save an estimated 28.5 million tonnes in annual fuel consumption and 90 million tonnes in annual CO2 output.

Summary

We offer a TBT-free, copper-free and biocide-free solution. No toxic substances are released at any stage of its use. The surface texture improves with repeated underwater hull maintenance. Fuel consumption as well as GHG, VOC and zinc anode emission is thereby reduced. This makes our coating systems the Best Available Technology (BAT) for companies that take their environmental responsibility seriously.

Contact us for more information:
Phone: +32 3 213 53 18
info@subind.net

Reasons for switching to a washable coating

Washable hard coatings like Ecospeed are designed to withstand the rigors of ship use for the life of the vessel. They are completely inert and contain no biocidal or toxic material. Usually their strength and durability is created by the presence of glass flakes within the coating.


The “Wash before you go” strategy, with a washable coating, is the complete answer to the problems of NIS and biocidal contamination of the marine environment. It has many additional benefits for ship owners. The strategy becomes possible because hard hull coatings have extreme durability and are non-toxic.

Ecospeed is in fact designed to be cleaned as often as needed, and this cleaning allows the coating to always operate at peak efficiency – saving further money for operators and reducing GHG emissions. The benefits of a washable hard coating include:

1.It is a non-toxic solution, offering safety for the marine environment instead of the inevitable damage caused by biocidal anti-fouling.

2. Ecospeed presents a clean and efficient surface to the water, saving the ship operator fuel. The coating does not need to be removed and replaced every five years.

3. It is the only real guarantee that NIS will not be spread via ship hull fouling. If ships leave their port of departure free of fouling organisms, they will arrive at their next destination with a clean hull and thus pose no threat of spreading NIS via hull fouling.

4. Ports also benefit from the absence of biocidal pollution and NIS.

5. Drydock intervals can be lengthened. In the case of a high quality, surface treated coating, no repainting is required. At first application the hull is blasted and prepared. The coating is applied only once and lasts for the service life of the vessel. Only minor touch-ups to mechanical damage are required during scheduled drydocking. This obviates the need to drydock solely for painting, and shortens the time in drydock.

6. Reduced fuel consumption resulting from a smooth hull means lower fuel bills and atmospheric emissions. The absence of paint degradation over the life of the coating further reduces fuel costs.

Conclusion

Ecospeed is an entirely different, more cost-effective and environmentally-acceptable approach to hull protection and anti-fouling. There is no need to reblast and recoat the hull; no corrosion, no impact on the environment and, if regular hull cleaning is carried out, tremendous fuel savings can be achieved.

Contact us for more information:
Phone: +32 3 213 53 18
info@subind.net

    The drydock affair simplified

    Drydocking is necessary, evidently, for inspection purposes, replacement of certain parts and any necessary repair. In most cases, however, the time spent in drydock is substantially lengthened as a result of the replacement or repair of the hull coatings. The solution is very simple: Choosing the right type of coating system can drastically reduce the length of the visit.

    Most of the time and effort spent in drydock goes to the maintenance or replacement of the coating system. This usually consists of five or six layers with application intervals of 24 hours in between. The required surface preparation alone will add several days to the visit. Three to seven days extra is not unusual. Adverse weather conditions will increase this number.

    A substantial reduction of time and effort in drydock can be obtained by using a hard coating system like Ecospeed. Usually drydocking an Ecospeed ship can turn into a simple wash-and-go operation. This is due to the fact that the coating will withstand almost all impacts during its time at sea. Seawater, corrosion or marine fouling simply do not have an influence. The hull is usually in the same condition as it was when it was coated during newbuilding or the previous drydocking. The same goes for the rudder, bow thrusters and other running gear.

    If no paintwork is required then it is obvious that the days in drydock can be more than halved. What this yields in terms of savings depends on the type and size of the ship. For a cruise ship fleet of 25 vessels this could result into 125-175 days saved per 2,5 year drydock interval. This   amounts to 500-700 days on a 10-year cycle. We have many cases in operation right now that prove this and we would be perfectly happy to discuss our technology with any interested party.

    Corrosion simplified and solved

    We are so used to corrosion on ships that no-one raises an eyebrow at the rust-stained hulls in any port or dock. It is, apparently, considered to be the way of things.


    It is true that steel will rust. But with the knowledge and resources at our disposal we have long passed the point when we should have recognized that this is a problem, and solved it.

    Corrosion on ships is rarely recognized as a failure of the coating, but that is precisely what it is. The first job of a hull coating is to prevent the gradual weakening and destruction of marine assets that is caused by corrosion. It remains a massive problem for shipping despite coating repairs every few years, eating up valuable days in drydock. Not only that, but current coating compounds also leak a million ton of toxic material into our oceans every year.

    Corrosion is not some unavoidable fact of life. The basics of the subject have been well known for centuries, but they are worth reiterating. The iron in a steel hull is, effectively, trying to return to the state in which it was taken as an oxidised ore. Three things are needed for rust to form: metal, water, and oxygen. Energy, the galvanic difference between metals, stimulates the process, and impurities in the metal, seawater, water vapor, acids, salts, carbon dioxide and stresses hasten it.

    While cathodic protection slows the corrosion on a ship, total prevention is only achieved by preventing metal, water and oxygen from coming into contact with eachother. That is the primary job of a coating. The problem is simply that most coatings fail poorly in that task.

    One reason for their failure is the permeability of zinc primers, epoxies and antifouling coatings usually used. Water can get through and behind the layers of coating where it can start the corrosion process while accelerating it by causing coating delamination. This is the sequence of coating degradation which opens the door for further corrosion.

    A second reason is the use of heavy metals in coating systems such as copper. These have a high galvanic differential with the steel of the hull. In practice we see copper-based coatings degrade very quickly – their difference in potential is the highest we encounter on ships. The fact that zinc, epoxy and antifouling, all of which have different surface tensions, are used together, further aggravates the problem.

    Permeability, different surface tensions, poor adhesion and heavy metals are the four main factors that lead to an inferior protection on the ship hull.

    It is not difficult to see that if a coating has no heavy metal content and therefore can avoid potential differential, is impermeable to water and achieves superior adhesion, the problem is solved. If the steel hull is isolated from its surroundings, then galvanic activity and corrosion are canceled.

    Our range of coating systems has achieved this.

    Observation over twenty years on hundreds of ships protected with our coating systems, reveals a distinct absence of hull corrosion on any of them. We do not find corrosion on these hulls.

    With our glass-flake coating systems we have the solution. Their superior adhesion, impermeability and toughness fully isolate the steel hull. Even heavy corrosive environments in port or in seawater fail to touch the anodes or the steel surface of the hull. In fact, anodes become superfluous on an Ecospeed hull.

    Environmentally our coatings are a vital solution because they contain no heavy metals, no zinc and no pesticides or other biocides. Extremely high concentrations of these elements are already found in the sediments around ports, estuaries and even far out at sea. It is clear that using them on ship hulls is not sustainable.

    The subject of hull fouling is dealt with in a previous article – but it should be mentioned here that anti-fouling coatings have already caused one international marine catastrophe with the extensive use of TBT, and are creating further catastrophes if their use is continued. The attachment of marine organisms to ship hulls seems to be little affected by the currently available anti-fouling materials, but the marine environment suffers severely from their accumulating toxicity.

    Simple mechanical removal of these organisms from a hard, non-toxic surface is the obvious and most workable solution, provided the coating is designed to withstand this.

    We have seen more than 20,000 ships  over the last fifty years – after some time they all have corroded, rough, degraded and inefficient hulls.

    An amazing discovery we frequently make is that, on inspection of ships coated with our systems, we never see corrosion of any significance, even when there has been small impact damage. Not after two years, not after five years, not even after ten years. This proves that with an inert coating there is no influence on the steel, even when exposed to seawater.

    The conclusion is simple: the majority of the coating systems in general use today do not protect the hull sufficiently. They should be replaced with coatings that can do the job.

    How ice-going vessels can benefit from using Ecospeed.

    We have been coating ice-going ships for the last 16 years. The technical, economic and ecological results we have witnessed are nothing less than spectacular.


    Technical

    The first thing you look for in an ice-going coating is a resistance to the ice. The reason why Ecospeed is such a success in ice is because of the adhesion to the steel. In itself the coating is not flexible, but due to its superior adhesion the coating flexes with the steel. There is no delamination and no detachment from the substrate.

    Economica
    l

    Ecospeed ships do not have to be recoated. Ice-breaking (and other) ships save an enormous time in drydock. Instead of twelve days you only have to spend four or five days in dock because only small touch-ups are required. These are very easy to do, even in bad weather and any repair done to an Ecospeed coating will have the same qualities and strength as the original layers. This is even the case if they have been applied 10 or 15 years before.

    A combination of the corrugation of the coating and the absence of marine growth in ice results in a proven reduction of consumption. Depending on the size of the ship, the engines used and other specifications these fuel savings can go from 10%, 20% or even 30%.

    The smoothness of the coating also provides for easier breaking of the ice. The ship slices through the ice because hull friction is substantially reduced.

    We have been recognized as an abrasion resistant ice coating by Lloyd’s Register. Using Ecospeed allows the plate thickness to be reduced by 1 mm. Ships can be build with less material and will be less expensive to build and lighter to use.

    Ecological


    With Ecospeed on the underwater hull there is no loss of coating. There is no disbondment, no detachment and no delamination caused by ice impact. Our coating systems leave no paint behind. There is no spreading of anti-fouling toxic particles and heavy metals, because they are simply not used in our coating. Ships can safely be taken to the Polar regions without having a damaging effect on the environment or coloring the ice.

    Because of the quality of the coating Ecospeed requires no use of anodes. As a result there is no loss of zinc materials in the Polar or other regions. No corrosion takes place on ships coated with Ecospeed.

    When the cleaning effect of the ice is not sufficient all animal growth can be removed easily with intermediate underwater cleaning. There is no detrimental effect on the marine life. There is no chemical influence. The problem of biofouling is therefore completely handled. The animals are removed and left behind in their native environmental zone. They are not transported to another environmental zone. We promote this as a total solution because achieving this only depends on the cleaning of the ship.

    Conclusion


    We have well over a hundred applications of ice-going ships. RRS Ernest Shackleton and RRS James Clark Ross  of British Antarctic Survey, have been coated with our products with great and conclusive results. Our Ecospeed coating was also selected for the newbuild research vessel RRS Sir David Attenborough, the biggest commercial shipbuilding contract in Britain for 30 years.

    Over a period of fifteen years these have shown that Ecospeed can withstand the impact of ice for many years. It is not a coating system that you get for one or two years, it is a system that you get for twenty years and longer.

    The Matter of Biofouling

    Recently there has been a lot of discussion about biofouling. A word coined to describe marine life attached to ship hulls, it is seen as a ship speed breaker, a destructive factor to hull coatings and a cause of alien invasive species. To call it fouling is in fact a misnomer. It is marine life and it was there first, long before any ship or boat had entered any water.

    The situation with marine invasive species is twofold being carried around the globe in ballast tanks on the one hand and riding on the outside of ship hulls on the other.

    In ballast tanks the problem comes down to any life that exists in water. From bacteria to larvae to small fish and anything in between. Because it is traveling in dark conditions with zinc anodes present, this problem is much smaller than the real problem posed by the ship hull.

    Allegedly around 600-700 species are traveling on the outside of ship hulls. Six years ago we published a White Paper on the subject titled: Invasive Aquatic Species – A proposed alternative solution. In it we gave a summation of the problem and how to correctly deal with it. The basic viewpoint is simple: we do not want to handle this with a toxic solution. There are very good reasons for this.

    A very negative and toxic influence is exercised on marine life traveling on the hulls. It is proven by various publications that animal life and algae are influenced by the many varied toxins in the coating. The continued toxic presence on and around the hull, from pesticides to heavy metals to pharmaceutical derivatives, have a detrimental effect.

    By traveling on a toxic ship hull the animals become more resistant. In our white paper we called these gladiator species because they have become chemically stronger than the marine life of the different environmental zones they arrive in. The local populations are less adapted and give in to the newcomers. This alone is reason enough to look for other solutions.

    Our viewpoint is that there is no such thing as a toxic solution for the mitigation of invasive species. As we do not know exactly what we are doing to marine life, we cannot see this as a responsible action. We have no idea how much and how many we are thus influencing. There is no control on the process.

    What needs to be considered is the toughness and tenacity of marine life. Amongst the oldest species on this planet, they have developed an exceptional resistance to external factors and that does include chemicals and heavy metals.

    With toxins we either kill the marine life or render it sick. This biomatter will then enter the food chain to a greater or lesser degree.

    The situation thus created requires a lot more attention and a much closer look from all the players involved: authorities, scientists, technology developers, manufacturers and regulators.

    From our side and as a group that has pioneered a totally non-toxic approach, we have firmly established that with our solution we have no influence whatsoever on marine life.

    To achieve an environmentally safe solution for ship hulls, we have looked at how to safely wash ships before they leave port.

    A full washdown of the ships is the best solution. It requires a system that allows to clean any size ship in less than an hour on a coating that will not emit particles.

    Sister company  Hydrex (www.hydrex.be) is now working on underwater hull cleaning technology that will produce cleaning rates of 100.000 m² per hour or more. It does not require divers or visibility and can be used in a current.

    This means that even the biggest ships can be cleaned in a very short time. They can be washed before they leave port and sail to a different environmental zone free of biofouling. When they arrive they can discharge and load again and when they leave they can be cleaned in the same fashion. During continued sailing, no marine growth is acquired on the hull as this only happens during stops.

    This process also considerably optimizes the speed of the ships. Fuel consumption will be at its best attainable level and large fuel savings are thus achieved. These alone will pay for the effort many times over.

    Huge benefits when cleaning Ecospeed underwater

    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.

    Summary
    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.

    All major issues solved

    Our technology has solved all major problems relating to ship hull performance and protection.

    We have succeeded in providing a massive breakthrough in the field of underwater ship hull performance and protection. We have done this with a combination of our line of environmentally safe coating products and a profound knowledge of underwater maintenance work and tools. The result is a substantial reduction in fuel consumption, virtually zero emission and huge time and cost savings during newbuilding and drydocking.

    1. Optimized surface friction
    By optimizing surface roughness to its upper limits without future deterioration or degradation, we solved the problem of hull surface friction. As the coating has a lifetime equivalent to that of the ship, its surface characteristics are maintained over the same period.

    2. Fuel savings
    By optimizing hull surface friction and using the best possible surface hydrodynamic characteristics, proven fuel savings over the lifetime of the ship are most often found to be in the 20-40 % range. In contrast with AF compounds that rapidly degrade over time, our coatings last. Therefore the performance of the ship does not degrade either.

    3. Corrosion
    We have reduced the corrosion problem to a zero effect. Ship hulls handled by us keep their sacrificial anodes 100% intact, even after prolonged periods of 5-10 years in the water. Corrosion is virtually absent on our hulls and anodes are no longer needed.

    4. Cavitation erosion
    Cavitation erosion and corrosion thus caused is entirely solved. Cavitation erosion damage resulting in often very expensive repairs and time loss in drydock can now be avoided entirely. 500 rudders have been protected so far with a 100% success rate over a 15 year period.

    5. Anti-fouling toxic particles emissions
    Yearly 1 million tons of AF toxic chemicals and heavy metals are being used and lost at sea. This extremely damaging pollution results in billions of silt and sediment remedial cost. All of this can now become a thing of the past entirely, including the cost of removal.

    6. Repeated application of degraded AF coatings
    This is now an obsolete routine as our coatings last the lifetime of the ship. Peak distribution of toxic materials caused by repeated applications in drydock and thus emissions in ports and rivers has been overcome.

    7. Time and effort in drydock
    As reapplication is never necessary, work and time in drydock can be more than halved. Planning for work in drydock can be made to be very precise as paint renewal is avoided. Only small touch-ups may be needed. Waiting for acceptable weather is no longer necessary. This allows drydock companies to deliver on time. As a result, more ships can be docked in the same period.

    8. Transfer of invasive species
    This has become a totally manageable and cost-effective method and poses no major problems other than the repeated cleaning in-situ of the ship hull. This process is 100% environmentally safe. Even when done frequently, its cost is dwarfed by the fuel savings thus realized. Mitigation of the transfer of invasive species and very large fuel savings, never obtained before, are achieved by the same method i.e. regular in-situ underwater cleaning or other sanitation technologies.

    9. Building costs
    Cost for new building ships is substantially reduced as the repairs of these homogenous coatings, easy to apply and repair, are many times more efficient. This results in thousands of man hours saved during the building process. The reapplication of AF paint for speed trials in drydock at the end of the building period is not necessary any longer as a simple underwater hull cleaning is sufficient. The latter saves more than the total cost of the coating material supplied and the ship’s speed is guaranteed.

    10. Financial
    As the coatings will last the lifetime of the ship, they are now part of the investment. Other accounting and financial rules can be applied than if it were a simple repetitive application and therefore returning cost. The cost of repeated application of chemicals has changed into a fixed asset, entirely part of the ship.

    11. Ice-going and icebreaking ships
    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. Another 150 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.

    Summary
    We have optimized hull surface roughness and hence hull friction resulting in fuel savings in the 20-40% range. We have cracked all major problems in corrosion and cavitation erosion. We have halted all anti-fouling toxic emissions. We have substantially reduced the cost and time of drydocking and its peak distribution of toxic particles due to repainting work. We have provided the most adequate solution to mitigate the transfer of invasive species. We have reduced new building costs. We have formulated the best way to prevent loss of coating in ice and general arctic conditions.

    Easy washable

    Our coating systems offer many benefits to shipowners, ship managers and operators. In this article we take a look at how applying Ecospeed (or any other Subsea Industries coating) to a vessel can save much worry, time and hassle for superintendents and shipyards during drydockings, as well as save expenses for the owner.

    Like all our products, Ecospeed is an extremely hard coating system with optimized hydrodynamics that can easily be maintained in service. This has a huge potential for reducing total cost of ownership of the vessel. When ships come out of the water after lengthy periods, there is no delamination of the coating from the hull, there are no paint blisters that would be indicative of anti-corrosive failure and the overall hull is still smooth. There are also the environmentally friendly aspects of the product. Studies done in the Netherlands and Canada have determined that in-water cleaning of Ecospeed produces no materials that are toxic to the marine environment.

    High quality application: the secret of long term durability

    The effect of the degradation of a regular paint system and the build up of paint layers on the fuel efficiency of the ship is largely underestimated. There are very substantial benefits in stripping away all the old paint; immediate fuel savings of up to 20-30% are very realistic numbers.

    When Ecospeed is applied this build-up of paint layers is ended forever. Once the hull coating has been applied you will never have to reblast again throughout the entire service life of the ship.

    Surface preparation is the foundation of a coating system. As soon as you start tampering with the quality of the surface preparation, you will tamper with the total quality and as a consequence service life of the coating. For this reason at least one Ecospeed coating inspector is present and available for the painters on every job. This is to check the conditions during the application process, but also to work together with them to help ensure a very easy and smooth application. Because the inspectors are closely involved with the application, they know exactly what has happened during the coating process. This allows them to approve the 10 year warranty that comes with an Ecospeed application.

    We work with our own team of highly certified and qualified coating inspectors. These inspectors have been working with the company for many years. They are not only familiar with all our coating systems, but with a wide variety of other coatings. They are very important in the cooperation with the shipyard and they make sure that the product is applied according to the required standards. This guarantees that the results will be there for the shipowner for the next ten years and beyond.

    Flexible and easy to learn application process

    The high standards that are demanded for an Ecospeed application do not mean that learning to work with the coating is a difficult process or that the application itself is hard to schedule or carry out.

    Applying Ecospeed is quite straightforward and in general it paints like any other paint. When the specifica- tions are followed the application goes very smoothly.

    The Ecospeed coating also offers a tremendous flexibility to the shipyard. The minimum overcoating time for all our coating systems is three hours. This means that for smaller surfaces such as rudders, nozzles or bow thrusters, the two coats of Ecoshield can often be applied in one single day.  

    During drydockings there is a lot more going on than just the hull coating, which can easily interfere with the planning of your project. Because Ecospeed has quick and flexible overcoating times, application can be scheduled around other work taking place. This results in minimal interference with 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.

    Hassle-free planning of drydockings

    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 washable coating

    The standard procedure for shipyards when a ship enters drydock is general cleaning of the ship hull to clear away any fouling and residues, especially salt residues that may adhere to the coating system. With Ecospeed the coating is always in a brand new, excellent condition after the high pressure washing. The surface texture is very smooth. It reveals without exception that Ecospeed does not need any additional paint layers.

    There is also a very big difference between washing Ecospeed and other paints. With Ecospeed none of the paint material is lost. Only the fouling is removed. The coating stays on the ship instead of dispersing in the water and contaminating the shipyard and the surrounding waters.

    Summary

    We hope that this article has helped communicate the practical aspects of applying Ecospeed, the differences between our coating systems and other underwater hull paints and the low cost-to-savings ratio that can be obtained by using Ecospeed to protect the underwater hull of any vessel afloat today.

    The washable coating

    Ship hulls should be protected with a system that lends itself to fast, effective cleaning without risk of damage to the coating and without posing any kind of hazard to the environment. Ecospeed is this system.

    There is currently no hull coating available which will not foul. The only way to remove this fouling is to clean it off. The Ecospeed coating has a glassy surface that was designed to be washed without being damaged. This enables fast and efficient fouling control throughout a ship’s entire service life.

    Fast and easy cleaning

    Underwater maintenance
    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. It allows divers to clean the flat areas as well as the harder to reach parts of the hull without damaging the coating.

    One of the many unique characteristics is that with repeated underwater hull cleaning the coating’s surface improves. Cleaning can be carried out whenever needed, at any point in its lifespan.

    High-pressure cleaning in  drydock
    Ecospeed can also be cleaned in drydock with high pressure tools. With Ecospeed the coating is always in a brand-new, excellent condition after a high pressure washing and no material is lost.  Only the fouling is removed. The coating stays on the ship instead of dispersing in the water and contaminating the shipyard and the surrounding waters.

    Several of our customers use this method to have their vessels cleaned. Their ships are taken out of the water, cleaned with high pressure tools and put back in the water in a matter of hours. They all said that this approach helped them get through the crisis.

    Long lay-up periods have no negative effect
    The coating is also suited for ships which have a stationary period because an impermeable  and impenetrable barrier is created. 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 corrosion 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.

    Environmentally safe

    Toxic-free
    Ecospeed is 100% non-toxic and there is no negative effect on the water quality or the marine environment during application or maintenance.

    The definite biofouling solution: clean before you go
    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.

    Removal of the ban on underwater cleanings
    Several major ports have overturned the existing general ban on underwater hull cleaning, specifically making an exception for vessels coated with Ecospeed.

    Conclusion
    Ecospeed is an entirely different, more cost-effective and environmentally-acceptable approach to hull protection and anti-fouling.

    There is no need to reblast and recoat the hull; no corrosion, no impact on the environment and, if regular hull cleaning is carried out, fuel savings of up to 50% can be achieved.

    Wash it when fouled

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