Performance and cleaning systems
In 1993 research begun on developing a new, long-lasting,non-toxic method of protecting ship hulls. The coating system was introduced into the market in 2002. In 2013, after more than 10 years of strenuous testing, Ecoshield was launched for permanent protection against cavitation damage for rudders. In 2014 Ecolock was introduced. This coating system is designed to protect offshore vessels for decades without the need for drydocking. The latest member of the family is Ecofix, a superior, tested and proven filler which is used in combination with Ecoshield.
Ecoshield, was launched in 2013 for permanent protection against cavitation damage for rudders. The glassflake
reinforced coating protects the rudder for the service life of the ship without need for recoating or major repair and comes with a ten-year guarantee. Ecoshield is also suitable for bulbous bow, stabilizer fins, thruster nozzles and other underwater ship gear which needs special protection from corrosion.
Until now, the problem of cavitation damage to rudders, causing erosion, pitting and sometimes complete failure, necessitating very expensive repairs or replacement has remained unsolved.
Now a very durable, tough, long-lasting glassflake resin coating is putting an end to these problems. Ecoshield is a specifically reinforced version of the well-known Ecospeed non-toxic underwater ship hull coating. Small but significant variations of the Ecospeed formula have been tested on rudders since 2002 with extraordinary results. Ships that were experiencing heavy cavitation damage to their rudders, once the glassflake coating was applied, have seen no further cavitation damage erosion for as long as 10 years after application, with no sign that the coating will need replacement during the life of the ship.
Cavitation tests in a flow channel, carried out in Grenoble, have confirmed that Ecoshield performs extremely well even under severe cavitation. The coating will prevent corrosion damage from reoccurring on an existing ship or can protect the rudder(s) of a newbuild vessel against cavitation and corrosion damage for the life of the vessel. Ecoshield is guaranteed for ten years. As a result of the application no repainting is needed during future dockings.
Suited for newbuilds and existing vessels
Protection of the running gear of your ships is best begun at the newbuild phase. When a ship comes into drydock, maintenance of its stern area, especially cavitation and corrosion damage repair, can take a long time. There are strict procedures concerning blasting, painting, welding and propeller and stern tube seal work. Painting is then assigned to the end of the schedule. As a consequence it may be rushed or not done at all or else prolong the stay in drydock.
With an Ecoshield application one can avoid these problems from day one because the underwater gear will not need to be repainted during future drydockings. Ecoshield will remain intact for the lifetime of the vessel. It is guaranteed for ten years. At the most, quick and easy touch-ups amounting to less than 1% of the surface area will be required. Planning the maintenance of the vessel’s stern area therefore becomes much easier.
The newbuild phase is the perfect time to apply Ecoshield. However, the coating can also be used to protect vessels that have been in service for some time and are already facing cavitation and corrosion damage.
Ecoshield’s flexibility makes it easy to adapt the application schedule to the rest of the activities at the shipyard or drydock in a way which does not interfere with them. Overcoating time can be as short as three hours, which means that for smaller surfaces such as rudders or bow thrusters the two coats required can usually be applied in one single day.
Groundbreaking protection for all running gear
Besides offering rudder protection, Ecoshield is also suitable for thrusters, azimuth thrusters, azipods, thruster nozzles, Kort nozzles, thruster tunnels and other underwater ship gear which needs special protection from corrosion. The extra strength coating protects these areas for the service life of the ship.
If one takes into account the costs of the temporary underwater repairs and the regular inspections required by a condition of class until the next drydocking or the costs for rudder repairs in drydock, it becomes clear that the investment in a coating system that offers extra protection from day one is very easily won back. For this reason more and more owners have Ecoshield applied on the rudders and other running gear of a large part of their fleet or have it included in the rudder specs of their newbuild vessels. These owners invest in the right coating system for protection because they know the savings that will result.
The purpose of Ecospeed is to offer a long-lasting, non-toxic protection for all ship hulls and to provide a system that keeps a hull very smooth and free of fouling for the service life of the vessel with minimal repair and no replacement. Instead of using chemicals to try to kill and repel marine fouling organisms, Ecospeed uses a hard, impermeable, impenetrable coating along with manual removal of fouling at an early stage.
The technology can be broken down into its constituent parts:
A glassflake reinforced resin coating that is impermeable, impenetrable, long-lasting, inert and non-toxic. The coating is applied usually in two coats each of 500 μm dry film thickness (DFT) to a properly prepared hull, either at new build (ideal) or in drydock for an in-service vessel. It works equally well on steel, aluminum or GRP. A minimum of about 3 hours is required in between coats and there is no maximum overcoat time. This coating has extraordinary adhesion and bonding qualities. It is very tough and resistant to abrasion. It is also flexible and remains firmly bonded to the plates even when these flex considerably.
2. Routine underwater cleaning
Once the coating has been applied, it will need to be cleaned routinely to keep fouling to never more than slime and light weed. This is done in the water using specially developed equipment and tools. This lends this technology its extraordinary fuel efficiency. Frequency of cleaning will depend very much on the operating pattern and environment of the ship. In tropical waters, and especially if the ship is idle for periods or spends much time at anchor or quayside, the hull may need to be cleaned regularly. In colder waters or ice conditions, cleaning need be much less frequent, even as little as a few times a year. There is a distinct foul-release property to the coating which becomes more noticeable as the coating becomes smoother and smoother. It has been found that it is possible to break down the hull cleaning to better adapt it to the ship’s schedule. So one side of the hull can be cleaned during one port visit and the other side and/or flat bottom and niche areas can be cleaned on a subsequent visit to the same or another port.
3. Touch-ups in drydock
The coating is expected to last the full service life of the ship without need for replacement or any major repair. However, mechanical damage such as that caused by collision or anchor chain abrasion, or by welding on the hull or other causes can easily be touched up during routine drydocking. Because the coating consists of a single, homogenous layer, any repair or touch-up easily blends in without any difficulty. The integrity of the hull coating is maintained despite such repairs. Because no repaint is needed, several days and up to a week can be saved in drydock times during each visit.
The coating alone provides superior hull protection, but it is the full Ecospeed technology in all its parts that results in the major fuel savings.
Please see also: www.subind.net