Biocide-Free Antifouling Used on Cruise Ship
Nippon Paint Marine (Europe) recently announced the successful application of Aquaterras, a biocide-free, self-polishing antifoulant, to AIDA Cruises’ 38,531gt cruise vessel, AIDAcara. The decision to use the coating followed successful testing using test patches on Carnival cruise ships.
According to Nippon, Aquaterras can reduce fuel consumption by more than 10% in comparison with other, more traditional SPCs. This is largely attributed to the coating’s smooth surface and low friction.
The vessel was drydocked in February, at CNdM Marseille, France, where workers carried out surface preparation with full hydro-blasting. All underwater areas of the ship's hull were coated with Aquaterras.
“This application is the result of a long-standing project with Nippon Paint Marine to find an environmentally sustainable way of reducing ships’ energy consumption,” said Jukka Ignatius, Superintendent, Innovation & Energy Management, Carnival Maritime GmbH. (Carnival Maritime is responsible for both the technical and nautical operation of AIDA ships.)
“The feedback from joint testing and in-water inspections of test patches applied to our ships over the past three years has shown Aquaterras to be an effective antifouling that does not leach hazardous biocides into the water column. The expected reduced frictional resistance also helps towards reducing fuel consumption and, consequently, emissions, which is very much in keeping with our overall strategy of reducing the impact of operations on the marine environment.”
Aquaterras, which does not have any heavy biocidal pigments, active ingredients or silicone, is based on a mix of hydrophilic and hydrophobic components, similar to what is used in the creation of artificial hearts and blood vessels.
“After application, surface roughness measurements were as low as 40µm and averaged 63µm, but since Aquaterras is self-polishing the overall hull roughness should become even lower as the vessel continues on its regular operations,” noted John Drew, Director, Nippon Paint Marine.
The coating can be applied to ships over biocidal SPC antifouling paints. Other SPC antifouling paints can also be applied over Aquaterras, without the latter being removed.
Both AIDA and Nippon will continue to monitor the coating’s performance.