8 December 2014

Thorn-D® antifouling is a potential environmentally friendly alternative for traditional anti-fouling coatings. A pilot project with two Damen sister ships started 1½ years ago. If this thin film coating performs better than traditional anti-foulings, Thorn-D is a real ecological and cost-efficient breakthrough for shipping companies and shipyards.

Thorn-D® pilot: economically friendly fiber versus smooth conventional coating

Dutch innovation and award-winning company, Micanti, in cooperation with Damen Shipyards Group (see: “Damen introduces anti-fouling foil” for more information), launched a pilot in the Port of Amsterdam in February 2013.

Two virtually identical sister ships were treated with coatings. The Castor, a Damen Stan Tug 1907, was treated with a conventional antifouling coating. The Pollux, also a Stu 1907, was treated with the new film, Thorn-D®. Both vessels operated at low speed in the Port of Amsterdam, under the same conditions and in the same waters.

How nylon fibers prevent marine growth on ships

Dr. Rik Breur, founder of Micanti, explains: "Since Thorn-D® acts as a physical barrier against marine growth, it has a longer expected lifetime (five years) than traditional antifouling coatings."

Fuel consumption

More fouling leads to an increase in drag and higher fuel consumption. This is a problem when conventional antifouling coatings fail too early.

So far the Port of Amsterdam, the client, is more than satisfied. “Our clients from the Middle East, for example, are also positive about our new product,” adds Rik. “And these clients are constantly battling marine growth.”

Follow up

In the second quarter of next year both vessels will be docked and thoroughly inspected. The analysis of the results will be the next step towards an environmentally friendly anti-fouling coating for the hull of Damen ships.

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