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Performing coating systems for different applications

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Applying Ecofix on the corroded areas of a rudder.

Subsea Industries develops durable, non-toxic hard hull coating systems. Ecospeed was the first coating and was launched in 2002, but since then a line of other products has been added.

Ecoshield is an enhanced version of Ecospeed. Small but significant variations of the Ecospeed formula have been tested on rudders since 2002 with extraordinary results. After years of testing (initially under the name Ecospeed Strong) the product was launched in 2013.

Ecoshield is designed to protect rudders and other underwater running gear against the cavitation phenomenon: against pitting, corrosion and erosion. A constantly growing number of new and returning customers have vessels sailing with the coating system on their rudders for up to ten years and counting. When they come into drydock, the coating is always in very good shape. Since 2013 Ecoshield has been applied to the rudders and thruster nozzles of ten vessels owned by Greek ship owner Pleiades Shipping Agents. Some of these vessels have since drydocked but their rudders and nozzles experienced zero cavitation damage and did not need to be recoated. Recently a customer said that ‘the coating simply works’. This was when one of his vessels docked five years after application.

Ecoshield is not only used on rudders, but also on thrusters, thruster tunnels, nozzles and other running gear. Subsea Industries is also in communication with OEMs to include Ecoshield in the newbuild plans of their products. This allows them to offer their customers a complete package with lasting protection.

Floating Storage and Regastification Unit (FSRU), coated with Ecolock, during its undocking.

Ecofix is used for filling and building up a corroded and pitted steel surface to its original form prior to coating it with Ecoshield. Ecofix is as tough as the steel itself. It is machinable and can be used to repair most pitting or corrosion damage on rudders, stabilizer fins, thrusters and other underwater gear.

Ecofix is used in combination with Ecoshield, the ultimate rudder protection coating. When a rudder or other piece of underwater ship gear has not been properly protected, the surface will become corroded. Cavitation damage can cause severe pitting. The steel needs to be restored to its original shape with a smooth surface prior to recoating.

This is where Ecofix comes in. It is a superior, tested and proven filler. Because it uses the same basic ingredients as Ecoshield, the coating can be applied just one hour after the filler. The bonding and hardness are extraordinary. This is the effective alternative to metal facing or very expensive alternative fillers. And because it is part of the Subsea Industries family, it is fully compatible with our coatings.

Ecolock is used on stationary offshore units. The main benefit of the coating system is corrosion protection and the possibility to clean it. These units are designed to stay on location for 15, 20 and even up to 30 years. Hull integrity and corrosion protection is a major thing. Class demands an underwater inspection twice every five years to see if the hull is in good shape. So the hull must be cleaned to allow these inspections. If the hull is cleaned on a frequent basis, say every two years, this offers no problems at all.

The standard warranty is ten years, but for Ecolock this can be extended to 15 or 20 years. The difference is the number of layers. Two coats give you ten years, three coats 15 and four coats give you 20. This is really a guarantee, not just a commercial promise.

Over the last couple of years alone Subsea Industries has completed several big offshore projects, including two project for Exmar NV. Exmar, headquartered in Antwerp, Belgium, introduced the world’s first floating LNG liquefaction barge, the Caribbean FLNG, in 2013. The main reason for choosing Ecolock was to protect the underwater hull from corrosion for at least 15 years without having to drydock or repair or replace the hull coating. Another key factor in choosing the hull coating system was the need for a clean, environmentally safe hull to facilitate the required class inspections.

One of the Ecolock projects was planned to be deployed in Colombia where there is a lot of fishing activity. So besides durability and the knowledge that the coating would stay on for long enough, the owner and the local authorities wanted to be absolutely sure that no toxic elements would be leaching into the aquatic environment. Not during regular activity and not during cleaning.

The final product in the family is Ecolast and was launched in 2016. This coating is ultraviolet (UV) light resistant and preserves its color while at the same time offering the corrosion and abrasion protection our coatings are known for.

Regular coatings will quickly lose their original color when exposed to the ultraviolet radiation present in sunlight. This is problematic when colorfastness is required, as is the case in for example offshore wind farms.

Ecolast is highly resistant against salt, ultraviolet radiation, waves or even ice. Mechanical damage to the coated surface is minimized. This is especially important for (semi-)submerged structures like wind turbines that are located in splash or tidal zones.

Like all other coatings systems in the Subsea Industries family, Ecolast is also unaffected by corrosion. As a result no repaint is required once the coating has been applied.

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