Without antifouling, cargo ships consume up to 20 percent more energy
RELIUS paint systems for shipbuilding and refurbishment
"With our range of products and services for the shipping sector, we are in an excellent position to address a wide variety of needs," says Dr. Harald Müller, head of the lab at RELIUS COATINGS’ industrial coatings area. The coatings provide corrosion protection for steel ships, are used to coat ballast tanks, and guarantee slip-proof deck covering. An important function is preventing algae, mussels, barnacles, and microorganisms from adhering to the hull. "Antifouling" is the name of the coating that offers shipping company owners major benefits – especially when ships and boats have long lay times or are cruising on lakes and inshore water. Müller explains: "Panels without any protective coating that were exposed to the elements in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea were covered with a growth that was several centimeters thick after only one month. According to Müller, this results in marked weight gains for the ships, slower crossings, and considerably higher fuel consumption. The unwanted organisms do not become attached when ships are sailing at full speed on the open sea. At the port, it’s another story, however. "Where is my ship sailing? How fast will it be going? How often is it in use?" These are all questions that shipowners need to ask before they decide to use an antifouling treatment – at the latest, when "inspection time" rolls around. Ship classification company Germanischer Lloyd, for example, defines this time as every 36 or 60 months, depending on the type of ship. By then, it’s also time to refresh the antifouling and, if needed, redo the entire finish. Then RELIUS’ logistics gears start running at full speed. Müller says, "The paints have to arrive at the customer’s site at the shipyard on time, no matter where the ship has docked for overhauling." And that’s not always so easy. "Modern cargo shipping is characterized by extreme flexibility on the one hand, and a global shortage of docking areas on the other." Just-in-time delivery of the coatings is absolutely essential. And even more: "The quality has to be perfect, because in the shipping industry, there’s no time for touch-ups or repairs that may otherwise be provided as part of a guarantee," Müller adds.
Coating the ballast tank is also a very demanding job. "The basic constraints in the coating process are different than those for exterior coating. The spaces are extremely small and narrow and need to be coated as quickly as possible," Müller reports. Non-skid deck surfaces for passenger, vehicle, and helicopter decks are also an essential component of RELIUS’ comprehensive range of products and services.
RELIUS coatings – always on board, whether ships are navigating the high seas or sailing on inland waters. They prevent rust, keep marine life from adhering to the hull, provide anti-slip surfaces, and make ships virtual "gems of the ocean."
About BASF Coatings
BASF Coatings, the Coatings Division of the BASF Group, develops, produces and markets a high-quality range of innovative automotive OEM coatings, automotive refinishes and industrial coatings as well as decorative paints. BASF has significant market positions in the Coatings sector in Europe, North America, South America and the Asia/Pacific region. In 2006 BASF Coatings achieved global sales of about 2.3 billion euros. The internet address of BASF Coatings is www.basf-coatings.com
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