With fouling on ship hulls increasing fuel costs by as much as 40% choosing an antifouling coating that works for you is a high stakes business. By Mike Garside
As fuel costs rise, some ship owners hanker for the old days when antifouling coatings (AFCs) containing the biocide Tribytylin ( TBT) quickly killed the weeds and molluscs trying to make a home on their hulls, but slowing their performance.
Enviromental concerns over toxic build-up as these biocidal coatings leached into the oceans resulted in an international ban and the industry is still looking for an effective replacement.
Now growing pressure for further restrictions is causing a polarization of views within the marine coatings industry, with three approaches battling for the lucrative market.
September’s Shipbuilding Machinery and Maritime Technology trade fair in Hamburg brought the controversy over biocides in hull coating into sharp focus. Protective Coatings Europe hosted a conference within the fair which provided the platform for a livelier debate than might have been expected…