The Norwegian company Advanced Marine Coatings based in Gamle Fredrikstad specializes in the development of environmentally compatible, heavy-duty anti-corrosion coatings for sea-going vessels. The "Green Ocean Coating Heavy Duty" coatings are formulated with Baytubes carbon nanotubes (CNT) from Bayer MaterialScience, which gives them very high abrasion resistance. The coatings also reduce the flow resistance between the ship's hull and the water, thereby enabling a significant reduction in fuel consumption.
The Green Ocean Coating Heavy Duty systems are two-component epoxy mastic resins coatings with extremely high resistance to water, making them particularly suitable for marine coatings and in particular for the part of the hull below the surface of the water. Thanks to the addition of Baytubes carbon nanotubes, these have a very smooth surface and thus help to save fuel and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
"According to our knowledge, this is the first application of Baytubes carbon nanotubes in marine coatings", says Dr. Raul Pires, head of Global Activities for Nanotubes and Nanotechnology Products at Bayer MaterialScience. The coatings are suitable for both new vessels and for subsequent repair and maintenance coatings.
Another major advantage is the reduction of maintenance costs. The ban on organic tin compounds for use as antifouling agents to prevent organic growth has necessitated relative frequent cleaning of the coating surface on the ship's hull to ensure cost-effective transport. "We hope that the smoothness and greater hardness of the coating will provide better durability and will allow us to extend the cleaning cycle. Thanks to the use of Baytubes, the systems represent both the most ecological and the most economic solution," says Stein Dietrichson, Managing Director of Advanced Marine Coatings.
The first ship to be coated with this system was the Berge Arzew, an LNG (liquified natural gas) tanker with a capacity of 138,000 cubic meters.
Extensive test coatings of a Green Ocean Coating were successfully applied to a surface area of 700 square meters. The VOC-free system (VOC stands for volatile organic compounds) was applied in film thicknesses of up to 400 micrometers. "The results so far are highly promising. The nanotubes evidently make for a very smooth, pore-free surface," says Dietrichson.