Results demonstrate Ecospeed’s qualities11/05/2012
Over the years Ecospeed’s many qualities have been confirmed on numerous occasions. Both by the certification and recognition given by independent organizations and by the excellent condition of the coating on vessels coming into drydock after sailing with Ecospeed on their underwater hulls and rudders for several years.
In this article we will give you a summary of some of the more recent important results.
Recognition and certification
- Ecospeed ECOTEC-STC named one of best projects of 2010
Hydrex was presented an award for the ECOTEC-STC project which was named as one of the best LIFE projects completed in 2010. Over a three and a half year period the objective of this project was to evaluate the environmental and economical benefits of Ecospeed as a biocide-free, durable hull protection and antifouling system.
The project has shown that Ecospeed as a Surface Treated Coating is a valuable alternative technology to the biocidal copper-based antifoulings that are currently on the market. From the project tasks that were carried out, it has been demonstrated that Ecospeed exhibits the following environmental and economical benefits:
- There is no need for full re-application in drydock. After supervised application, Ecospeed comes with a guaranteed lifetime of 10 years and an expected lifetime of 25 years.
- Ecospeed has low VOC content and in comparison with foul release coatings or copper-based antifoulings, far fewer VOCs are emitted with each application.
- Effluent analysis has shown that Ecospeed is 100% free of biocides and therefore environmentally safe.
- Regular underwater treatment of Ecospeed is put forward as a Best Available Technology to minimize the risk of transferring non-indigenous marine species (NIS).
- Advanced maintenance tools have been developed to clean the coating.
- The analysis of the roughness characteristics has demonstrated an optimization of surface characteristics by underwater treatment.
The dissemination activities and events organized around the project results engendered significant interest. Proof of increased interest in Ecospeed as an alternative to antifoulings is given by the number of applications since the beginning of the project. Almost 200 applications were carried out since December 1, 2006, of which more than 50 were full hull applications.
- The ban on underwater cleaning is lifted (for Ecospeed)
Another important outcome of the EU LIFE project was the submission of the experimental results to port authorities and environmental agencies worldwide in order to allow the underwater treatment of Ecospeed. The experimental results and the derived criteria for environmentally safe underwater cleaning have already convinced several economically important ports to overturn their ban on underwater cleaning of ship hulls. These ports recognize the negative impact of biocidal paints and want to support environmentally safe solutions. The Netherlands was one of the first countries worldwide to practically ban the in-water cleaning of ship hulls in order to avoid the pulse release of TBT, copper or other biocides associated with it. Ships moored in ports continue to leach biocides, which leads to accumulation in sediments. The Dutch Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management has proactively sought a solution to this environmental problem. It has come to the conclusion that a good non-toxic ship hull system includes regular and controlled removal of fouling and that the underwater cleaning of ships coated with Ecospeed is at present a Best Available Technology (BAT). Very strict criteria for environmentally safe in-water cleaning practices have been developed – criteria that only Ecospeed has been able to meet so far.
- Ecospeed protects against cavitation
Tests conducted in a flow channel have confirmed that Ecospeed performs extremely well under severe cavitation. These tests were divided into six stages during which the coating was exposed to an increasing pressure drop, creating a growing cavitation force. Even after the last stage no erosion was present on the test patch coated with Ecospeed. The tests were organized by the French Ministry of Defense and were carried out in Grenoble. These test results have been borne out repeatedly on rudders on many different types of ships.
- Recognized abrasion resistant coating
Ecospeed has also received the Lloyd’s Register certificate that recognizes the coating as an abrasion resistant ice coating. This allows owners of vessels intending to navigate in ice conditions to reduce the thickness of the plating of the ice belt, the area on the bow just above the waterline that is most prone to mechanical damage from sailing through ice, if this area is coated with Ecospeed.
- NORSOK approved coating system
The NORSOK standards are a series of standards, relevant to offshore installations, developed by the Norwegian petroleum industry. The complete test program typically takes about nine months and only the best coating systems manage to pass through. NORSOK M-501 has become a universally recognized standard that meets the most stringent requirements for corrosion protection. The standard is relevant for offshore use or other specific areas where pre-qualification is required. A pre-qualified coating system assures customers of longterm reliable protection.
- Superior ballast tank coating
Ecospeed has been given a B1 classification by Det Norske Veritas AS after testing the coating’s suitability as a ballast tank coating. B1 is the superior grade in a six grade classification system.
No repaint needed during drydockings
- Ice-going vessels
RRS Ernest Shackleton
When British Antarctic Survey’s RRS (Royal Research Ship) Ernest Shackleton was drydocked in Denmark last year, the superintendent, engineers and paint specialists there to check the condition of the hull paint were amazed. After two seasons of battering its way through ice up to 2.5 meters thick with a high content of gravel and volcanic lava adding to its abrasiveness, the hull coating was virtually intact and undamaged. This was in strong contrast to the Shackleton’s previous drydocking, when almost the entire hull, bearing a conventional ice-going underwater hull coating, was practically stripped to bare, unprotected steel.
The difference lay in the fact that when the Shackleton left drydock in 2009, the hull was newly coated with Ecospeed. Even though Ecospeed is not intended specifically for ice-going ships and icebreakers, it consistently outperforms the specialized ice-going ship bottom paints.
Stephen Lee is the Senior Marine Engineer for British Antarctic Survey, the BAS’s equivalent of a Technical Superintendent. He recalls the reaction of those present when the Ernest Shackleton was first pulled out of the water at Frederikshaven drydock in early 2011 “The biggest thing was the surprise at seeing the areas where you’d expect it to have taken a lot of damage... when she first came out of the water and onto the blocks it was a complete shock to all those present. All of us there commented on the condition of the hull and in particular that there was negligible damage at the bows, merely some scratch marks. None of us there would have predicted this. I then jokingly asked the question, ‘Are you sure you’ve taken this ship to the ice?’” According to Stephen Lee, the crew of the Shackleton reported that they had been pushing into 2 - 2.5 meter thick ice, “...and it’s just not touched it – just not touched it at all.”
This icebreaker came in to drydock in Landskrona, Sweden, in April 2009 after sailing with Ecospeed on parts of its underwater hull for two years. During this period it was used for several expeditions to both the Arctic and Antartic.
After Ecospeed came out on top in a comparison between test patches coated with Ecospeed and another ice-strength paint, the management of the vessel was more than happy to have the rest of the underwater hull coated as well and also ordered the same treatment for fellow icebreaker, Ymer.
The Oden’s Captain, Erik Andersson, recalls the problem with hull protection prior to 2007. “When the Oden went down to Antarctica the first year, we found that icebreaking was quite different down there, especially when you get close to the coastline where there is a lot of lava sand in the ice which makes it more or less like sandpaper. Also the ice is extremely hard in those areas. Due to that fact, the first year the icebreaker paint we were using was almost all more or less destroyed on the bow area so we were left with virtually unprotected steel.”
“We’ve had Ecospeed on the bow for a couple of years now,” continues Erik Andersson, “And it’s still there. It gets thinner and you can see that it’s actually shaving and getting thinner, but it’s still providing protection for the steel, whereas the conventional ice strength paint we were using would probably be gone by now.”
Interscan Schiffahrtsgesellschaft mbH is a tramp owner based in Hamburg. Says Michael Tensing, Managing Director and one of the owners of Interscan of the ice going vessels, “We trade normally between the Baltic and North Sea down to Gibraltar and we are trading ice every year. If you have to face ice of up to 50 cm thickness or so and you have conventional paint, all the paint will be worn off. That is what was happening. Our solution was to use the cheapest paint available, no antifouling. It would be worn off every winter, and every spring we had to go to drydock to paint just to have a coating on the hull.”
Then in 2005, Interscan decided to try Ecospeed on the Patriot, a 3,000 ton, 82 meter ice class E2/Finnish 1B general cargo vessel built in 1994. “We saw the paint after one year of trading heavy ice and we said, ‘That’s exactly what we need for the rest of the ice classed ships’,” recalls Michael Tensing. Seven years later, the underwater hull coating on the Patriot is still intact. It has not been replaced and only minor-touch ups have been required. “Now with Ecospeed the paint is so tough and resistant to ice that we only have our normal dockings every 2 to maximum 3 years and even after 2 ½ years you only have to wash the paint and that’s it,” says Interscan’s MD. “That is quite something for us.” Based on the success with the Patriot, Interscan specified Ecospeed for the hull of four 3450 ton newbuilds added to the fleet in 2008, the Paivi, Tim, Pernille and Widor, all 82.5 meter ice class E3/Finnish 1A multi-purpose, heavy cargo vessels.
Then there is the performance factor. Mr. Tensing particularly notes that, “After 5 years or after 10 years even with Ecospeed you still have only one coat on the hull, as opposed to four coats with another type of paint. The thicker the paint layer gets and the more mechanical damage there is to the paint, the performance difference becomes more and more pronounced and Ecospeed definitely shows better performance as the surface is more even and moves through the water more smoothly with its single coat.”
M/V Baltic Swan
In 2010 the container vessel Baltic Swan came into drydock at the Damen-Van Brink shipyard in Pernis, Rotterdam. The underwater hull was in virtually the same condition as it was when the vessel undocked two years before. The vessel required only a few touch-ups to bring her back in original condition.
M/V Baltic Swan is sailing for Swan Container Line and is owned and managed by Peter Döhle Schiffahrts-Kg. She was coated with Ecospeed in March 2008. The vessel has a fixed route going from Rotterdam to Bremerhaven and then on to Saint Petersburg. During the winter period the most northern parts of this route are almost completely frozen and the vessel’s underwater hull frequently has to endure the impact of large pieces of floating ice. Despite this, there was no damage from the ice and the captain of the vessel was impressed with the condition of the Ecospeed coating.
M/V Ernst Hagendorn
When the ice-going general cargo vessel Ernst Hagendorn came into drydock 2½ years after a large part of its underwater hull had been given an Ecospeed coating, it was decided to apply it to the remainder of the underwater hull as well.
In December 2006 owners G. Buck Schiffahrts GmbH & Co. decided to have the vertical sides, the bow area and the rudder of the general cargo vessel coated with Ecospeed while a traditional paint was applied to the flat bottom.
After sailing in the harsh icy conditions of the Baltic area for 2½ years, the vessel went into drydock at the Tosmare Shipyard in Liepaja, Latvia, in May 2009. Only very minor touch-ups were needed for the Ecospeed coating which was still in very good condition. Upon inspection of the flat bottom the owners decided to remove the conventional paint and apply Ecospeed. Additional cans were immediately sent to the shipyard so that the Ernst Hagendorn is now sailing with an Ecospeed protective coating on its entire underwater hull.
- Oil spill response vessel
During the drydocking of the oil spill response vessel owned by the Port Authorities of Rotterdam, an inspection revealed that the Ecospeed coating on its underwater hull needed little attention, despite the fact that the vessel had been laying idle for the last two years and a thick layer of fouling had accumulated as a result. With a traditional coating this type of vessel needs to dock for two or three weeks every year and receive a full repaint. Much to the owner’s satisfaction, the Ecospeed coating was still in excellent condition, as was revealed after high pressure washing. Despite the aggressive nature of the fouling, no rust or damage to the steel was present on the underwater hull of the vessel and only a minor touch-up was needed to the vessel’s floater due to severe mechanical impact.
- Navy vessels
During the most recent drydockings of several vessels of the Belgian Navy coated with Ecospeed, the underwater hulls were still in excellent condition and only a few touch-ups were needed. Among these vessels were the mine hunter M915 Lobelia, which was coated in 2006, and three tug boats, two of which were also coated in 2006 and one, A950 Valcke, which had been sailing with Ecospeed for over five years.
Ecospeed properties make it impossible for fouling to penetrate the surface. As a result Ecospeed will not deteriorate and the optimum average hull roughness will be regained after each cleaning because surface integrity is maintained. As Ecospeed allows hull cleaning to be performed quickly, effectively and at any point in the vessel’s life span, ship hulls can be kept in optimum condition. This is especially significant for Navy ships where fouling inevitably builds up much faster during long idle periods in between operations. The Belgian Navy has its own cleaning equipment and this, combined with Ecospeed’s durability, allows it to keep its fleet in the best possible operating condition, which is a major advantage for any military unit.
Compared with conventional antifouling paints, Ecospeed gives the Navy greater savings on fuel costs and a wider operational range. In the past the Belgian Navy repainted its vessels every year with a copper-based antifouling paint, however, with Ecospeed no repainting is necessary during the lifetime of the vessel. This eliminates paint layer build-up which can help the Navy in achieving its goal of prolonging the drydock interval of its ships to 12 years.
- Cruise ships
Long lay-up periods have no effect on quality of Ecospeed coating on cruise vessel
Ecospeed is ideally suited for ships during lay-ups because of its impermeability. This gives the coating its excellent and durable anticorrosive properties and protects the underwater hull against damage caused by any type of marine fouling. Despite the aggressive nature of certain types of fouling, no rust or damage to the steel will be present on the underwater hull of the vessel after cleaning.
This is illustrated by a cruise ship that remained stationary in the Caribbean for seven months after it was coated with Ecospeed. After this period the coating’s qualities allowed a complete removal of all fouling from the underwater hull of the vessel during an underwater cleaning without causing any damage to the underlying paint layers.
Ecospeed in excellent condition on cruise vessel after two years
When a 294-meter cruise vessel came into drydock in the Bahamas after sailing with Ecospeed for two years, less than 1% of the underwater hull needed touch-ups and no new paint layers were required on the rest of the underwater hull. As a consequence the technical operations that needed to be carried out on the vessel were very easy to plan because no repaint needed to be added to the schedule. Moreover, the vessel could leave drydock earlier than would have been the case if an extensive repaint had been required.
During the docking, visitors could see first-hand the advantages Ecospeed offers ship owners. Marine consultant Mike Novak, noted that he could clearly see that the required touch-ups involved only 1% of the total surface. He stated that he had never seen an underwater hull in better condition after being in the water for two years. Ecospeed also improves the hydrodynamic characteristics of the hull and increases fuel efficiency. Because Ecospeed creates a smooth surface on the hull, the coating helps ships glide more easily through the water. Since the engines do not have to be pushed as hard to get from one place to the next, several cruise vessels coated with Ecospeed can actually run with reduced propulsion power. This helps to both save energy and conserve fuel.
Ernst Russ successfully ends rudder cavitation damage problemsBack
Founded in 1893 Ernst Russ is a Hamburg based, family owned shipping company. The company has a fleet of ten vessels including five roro cargo ships. Due to the higher propeller revs of these roro cargo vessels, their rudders suffered particularly from cavitation damage.
Grzegorz Girjat is Superintendent of Ernst Russ, responsible for the five roro ships. The rudders were originally coated with a standard epoxy coating. Grzegorz Girjat explains, “During the first intermediate docking, between two and three years from launch, we observed that we already had extensive cavitation damage on the rudders.”
During a 2004 docking, Ecospeed was applied experimentally on the Elisabeth Russ. The trial was successful beyond all expectations. When the ship next came out of the water in 2007 it could be seen that no further cavitation damage had occurred. As a result, the rudders of the remaining four roro ships were coated with Ecospeed, all with similar results.
The most recent drydocking of the Elisabeth Russ in 2011, confirms that the original Ecospeed protection applied in 2004 is still holding firm and the rudder is intact, free from any further cavitation damage.
“In general everybody is looking to be in drydock as short as possible and to get all the work done as quickly as possible,” explains Grzegorz. “Additional hot work on the rudder inevitably results in some collisions with other jobs. I would say for me it is quite clear. Had we not applied Ecospeed on the rudders, we would certainly have extensive work to do in drydock.”
Ecospeed in excellent condition on rudders after years at sea
One year after the Ecospeed underwater hull coating had been applied on her rudder, the 197- meter bulk carrier Gypsum Integrity came into drydock in Setúbal, Portugal while Ecospeed was applied on the rudder of her sister vessel, Gypsum Centennial at the same location. A few months later the 195-meter container vessel Marie Delmas, owned by another company, came into drydock in Dubai five years after receiving an identical treatment. Shortly afterward the rudders of two other ships owned by this company, CMA Ships UK Ltd., were also coated with Ecospeed and this in China.
The drydocking of Gypsum Integrity and Marie Delmas allowed the owners to see the excellent condition of Ecospeed on the respective rudders. This gave them further proof that they had made the right decision in choosing the same treatment for their other vessels.
Another returning customer is a Canadian based company that has ordered the application of Ecospeed on the rudder of an 18th vessel.
The rudders of all these vessels will not have to be repainted during future drydockings and extensive repairs will not be needed. Planning the maintenance of the vessels’ stern area therefore becomes much easier. The smoothness attained by the coating also provides optimum hydrodynamic conditions for rudders to operate at maximum efficiency.
At least 150 rudders have now been coated with Ecospeed with 100% success. The number increases as more and more shipowners and operators find that there is indeed an answer to rudder cavitation damage. None of these rudders has suffered cavitation damage after the Ecospeed was applied and none has had to be recoated with Ecospeed.