Jotun has introduced an advanced hull coating optimisation programme that works across all coatings and sectors, while Hempel unveils a range of reformulated coatings
The major hull coating providers are constantly working on updates to their products, a process that can take years while formulas are developed in the lab before being tested and tried out during case studies on favourite clients’ vessels. Another side to the development of coatings is the software, or marine digitalisation whose aim is to increase efficiency of data analysis for better decisions, lower consumption and, ultimately, less emissions.
The latest component in the digitalisation of hull coatings is HullKeeper, which has been designed by Jotun’s team of hull performance experts and consists of a four-part programme. Ship operators can take full control of their operations through hull monitoring, fouling risk alerts, inspections and advisory services, selecting the complete package or the parts that work for them.
The HullKeeper programme is grounded in Jotun’s proprietary fouling risk algorithm, supported by data from different sources to make fouling control and efficiency more predictable. By providing insight into issues before they occur, ship operators can take planned corrective actions.
According to Jotun global hull performance category director Stein Kjølberg, more ship operators have recognised that proactive fouling control and hull efficiency are critical to managing increasingly strict regulations, rising fuel costs and environmental performance.
“Jotun has a proven record of developing products and services that help customers meet the demands of a changing industry,” he says. “HullKeeper extends the range of our services, helping operators to make well-informed and proactive decisions to improve hull efficiency as they push for optimal performance, efficiency and regulatory compliance.”
“Container ship operators, in particular, will benefit from HullKeeper due to its agnostic approach to hull coatings. Speed and schedule are critical issues and HullKeeper will help them make better decisions faster to maintain their operational efficiency.”
HullKeeper complements Jotun’s core hull performance offering and is consistent with the company’s focus on providing products and services to make shipping more sustainable.
Jotun global digital and data director Andreas Krapp notes that controlling the condition of a ship’s hull is the key to lowering fuel consumption and corresponding emissions. “HullKeeper is a market differentiator in the sense that it offers unique support that both adds value and meets the needs of customers,” he says. “Ship operators that use HullKeeper will be able to identify potential problems long before fouling impacts vessel performance, allowing them to make better decisions, faster.”
Dr Krapp explains that increased fuel consumption related to biofouling accounts for about 9% of the 919M tonnes of CO2 and 21M tonnes of other greenhouse gases (GHG) emitted by shipping annually.
While he acknowledges it is unlikely the industry will reach the full potential reduction of 85M tonnes of GHGs, HullKeeper represents a genuine opportunity to help the industry make significant emissions reductions.
“In addition to offering ship operators a cost-effective programme that can reduce GHG emissions, HullKeeper helps them to save on bunkering costs,” he says. “In this way, HullKeeper incentivises improved environmental performance.”
In theory, Jotun’s HullKeeper will work with any hull coatings, including those of rival Hempel. Hempel has enhanced its established and proven Olympic+ and Oceanic+ antifouling range and is launching five new antifouling solutions: Oceanic Protect+, Oceanic Flex+, Olympic Protect+, Olympic Flex+ and Olympic Protect.
Hempel’s Olympic+ and Oceanic+ antifouling coatings have been protecting vessels since 2009 and 2012 respectively and the introduction of the new, reformulated products delivers an even higher performance through better control of the leached layer and an enhanced mechanical strength.
Coupled with this, higher volume solids, higher dry film thickness per coat and lower volatile organic compounds reduce costs, time and emissions during application. These new antifouling solutions are designed to suit different trading patterns.
Olympic Protect, Olympic Protect+ (for medium to high activity levels) and Olympic Flex+ (for low activity levels) are based on ion-exchange technology and give protection for up to 25 idle days and up to 60-month service intervals.
Oceanic Protect+ (for medium to high activity levels) and Oceanic Flex+ (for low activity levels) are based on zinc carboxylate technology and protect for up to 30 idle days and 60-month service intervals. These coatings also deliver a maximum of 5.5% speed loss*.
Commenting on the new products, Hempel marine group product manager, antifouling coatings Marianna Sioni says, “Hempel’s antifouling product range caters for every vessel and every owner and we are proud our Oceanic+ and Olympic+ range has been able to deliver through the years reliable fouling control at such an effective cost.”
“Building on this success, we have invested in reformulating these products to enhance their performance so we can continue to offer proven solutions for a low upfront investment, supported by Hempel’s world-class global service. In short, this is proven antifouling performance reinvented".
All five reformulated products take advantage of Hempel’s reinvented Smartfibre technology which delivers a stronger and smoother hull.
Each coating now contains a 20% higher fibre content, which significantly improves its mechanical strength and allows the increase of the hydrophobic characteristics of the products leading to reduced leached layer thickness.
As water flows over the coating, enhanced fibres, which fit parallel to the surface, ensure a smooth and uniform removal of the leached layer which facilitates a well-controlled polishing rate and biocide release. This enables the coating to achieve a smoother and fouling-free hull throughout the service period.
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