Nippon Coating Reduces Ship Routine Maintenance
Global coatings company Nippon Paint Marine recently announced that a bulker ship cargo hold coated with its anticorrosive coating is not anticipated to require any remedial coating work until mid-2025. According to the emailed release, the company’s Neoguard coating was applied to the 40,000dwt bulker Starnes from HJH Shipmanagement GmbH.
Neoguard 100 GF is a flexible, surface tolerant multipurpose glass-flake epoxy. It was reportedly developed to provide corrosion and abrasion protection from seawater, chemicals and mechanical impact.
Neoguard Toughness, a heavy-duty epoxy anticorrosive paint, was newly developed to exhibit resistance against abrasion and impact to provide long-term protection for cargo spaces.
“We have not had the chance to physically inspect the tanks ourselves,” said Olaf Riecken, Business Development Manager, Nippon Paint Marine (Germany), “but HJH is very satisfied that the vessel is not expected to require any remedial coating work to the holds until drydock in mid-2025.
“The bulker carries crushed stones and other aggregates, so the holds needed special attention to mechanical impact, abrasion and corrosion. The owner’s exacting requirements were met with our Neoguard range, which was applied to all cargo holds and unloading tunnels.”
In 2020 at the Chengxi Shipyard, Nippon applied its HI-Epoxy 1494 coating, a zinc-rich epoxy primer, to bulkheads and tanktops, prior to two 200 micron (µm) coats of Neoguard 100 GF, in the cargo holds. The unloading tunnels were then coated with two 125µm coats of Neoguard Toughness before a single 50µm finish coating of E-Marine Finish M.
The company reports that it has applied its coatings to existing tonnage operated by the HJH, but the Starnes was the first newbuilding project with the owner. Other vessels include the self-unloading bulkers Bulknes and Sandnes, with the operator noting that extend coating repairs could not be achieved without a Neoguard application.
“It is vitally important to choose the right anticorrosive paint for a newbuilding early on in the project. Based on our previous experience of Nippon Paint Marine systems during repair and maintenance projects we wanted the ultimate cargo hold protection for Starnes,” said HJH Shipmanagement’s Newbuilding Manager Michael Jäger.
“We found that with Neoguard, which has exceeded our expectations and helped reduce coating maintenance costs.”
Recent Nippon News
Earlier this month, Nippon reported that cruise ships coated with its Aquaterras antifouling system are returning to service with hulls free of biofouling.
According to the release, the pair of ships were fully applicated in early 2019 and 2020, followed in mid-2020 by subsequent pandemic-enforced 18-month anchorage. In-water inspections were conducted in late 2021 showing that the hulls were in conditions that “exceeded expectations.”
As part of the inspection, photographs were taken of the coating on the hulls on other cruise ships, bulkers, tankers and containerships laid up in the Philippines, Bahamas, La Spezia and the Sea of Marmara. These also showed areas of “excellent antifouling performance.”
Photographs taken by divers inspecting one cruise ship coated with Aquaterras in the Bahamas showed no fouling on the vessel after 20 months of static operation. A test patch on an SPC coated cruise ship, which also sat idle for 20 months off La Spezia, Italy, showed near-zero fouling.
“Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, we had two full hull Aquaterras applications on cruise ships,” said Drew. “Now, demand is growing, and we have had to increase production to meet that demand.”
Drew noted that, typically, antifouling paints rely on a certain amount of ship movement to kick-start fouling control mechanisms. However, the pandemic prevented cruise ships from going to see or left their moorings only to make fresh water, which did not provide enough operational activity to activate the antifouling process, leading to the risk of fouling.
Nippon reported that ships coated with silicone-based paints, hard coatings and regular Self-Polishing Coatings (SPCs), including the company’s own A-LF-Sea range, were unable to compete with the Aquaterras results. Extensive growth build up was reportedly common during the pandemic hiatus.
“Some cruise ships had so much fouling when they started operating again that they suffered vibration as well as significant drag and excess fuel-consumption. However, despite extensive idling and static operation in warm and temperate waters, this coating kept the hulls of these ships extremely clean,” said Drew.
“One major cruise line underwent stringent test programs for over four years before its first ship’s hull was fully applied with the coating,” affirmed Niko Yamanoue, General Manager, Nippon Paint Maine (Europe). “In-service performance monitoring gave the operator confidence to apply Aquaterras another ship just before the pandemic hit. It kept the hull clean even during the biofouling challenges of the pandemic.”
“It has an extremely smooth and glossy finish. It’s much easier to apply than a silicone but its smoothness, self-polishing and resistance to fouling combine to lower hull friction. The Covid pandemic has proven the coating’s performance even in static conditions. The product goes beyond compliance but also its performance goes beyond our expectations,” said Johan Wilckens, Managing Director, Nippon Paint Marine (Europe).
“We anticipate it will become the benchmark eco-friendly antifouling, allowing ship-owners to reduce underwater cleaning, save fuel, lower carbon emissions and mitigate the ecological damage from biofouling and species migration. The technology in this coating is way ahead of its time. Aquaterras gives us a ten-year head start on the competition.”
In addition to cruise brands specifying antifouling, the self-polishing coating is reportedly being looked at by container lines and navies. Wilckens stated there are several navies currently carrying out static and dynamic tests as the operational requirement of naval vessels means they are often idle or alongside for extended periods.