Hempel backs new coating with performance guarantee

Hempel Group Manager Torben Rasmussen Hempel Group Manager Torben Rasmussen

NOVEMBER 8, 2013 — Coatings supplier Hempel has launched Hempaguard, a new hull coating concept that, it says, offers both outstanding resistance to fouling during idle periods and significant fuel savings. The ActiGuard technology used in Hempaguard has been five years in development and is based on silicone-hydrogel and biocide science.

ActiGuard integrates silicone-hydrogel and full diffusion control of biocides in a single coating. Surface retention of the biocide activates the hydrogel, which effectively holds fouling organisms at bay, cutting friction to a minimum while utilizing a minimum amount of biocide. It also has the long-term stability and mechanical properties required of a durable solution.

Hempaguard sets new standards, and is available as two separate products: Hempaguard X5 and Hempaguard X7. Tests show excellent fouling resistance of up to 120 days during idle periods plus fuel savings of six percent on average with Hempaguard.

Hempel is so convinced of Hempaguard's performance that it is offering a performance satisfaction guarantee contract for vessels complying with a full Hempaguard X7 specification.

"If you are not satisfied for any reason using Hempel's top tier product Hempaguard X7," says Group Product Manager Torben Rasmussen, "Hempel will pay, under the performance satisfaction guarantee contract, for the conversion of Hempaguard back to conventional antifouling and with no questions asked."

With rising bunkering costs, tightening environmental regulations and mandatory Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plans (SEEMP), fleet operators turned to Hempel for a new hull coating that really could make a much-needed difference to their business.
In response, Hempel scientists spent five years developing and testing Hempel's patented ActiGuard technology. ActiGuard integrates silicone-hydrogel and full diffusion control of biocides in a single coating. Surface retention of the biocide activates the hydrogel, which effectively holds fouling organisms at bay, cutting friction to a minimum while utilizing a minimum amount of biocide. It also has the long-term stability and mechanical properties required of a durable solution.

The result, says Hempel, is a unique fouling defense system that ensures excellent performance during long idle periods, plus remarkable fuel savings and flexibility. Hempel says this is indeed groundbreaking and will provide significant advantages for fleet operators all over the world.

"Our goal was to re-think the market. By introducing this concept and a performance satisfaction guarantee contract, that is precisely what we have done," says Mr.Rasmussen.
Increased flexibility

"Our tests have shown that Hempaguard retains its effectiveness when switching between slow and fast steaming anywhere in the world as well as during extended idle periods of up to 120 days," says Mr. Rasmussen. "This is particularly interesting for bulk carriers that can be redirected at short notice, as well as larger container vessels and tankers that may wish to increase speed to meet schedules, or slow steam to achieve extra fuel savings."

Hempaguard is available in two formulations for docking intervals of 36 and 90 months and is recommended for all ship types whose owners wish to benefit from flexible trading, fuel savings and fouling defense at any speed or during idle periods.

Hempaguard X5 offers sustained fouling defense for up to 36 months for any type of vessel with any trading pattern as well as for extended idle time and guaranteed fouling resistance for up to 60 idle days

Hempaguard X7 offers up to 90 months of extremely efficient fouling defense for any type of vessel with any trading pattern as well as for extended idle time and guaranteed fouling resistance for up to 120 idle days.

Hempaguard releases 95 per cent less biocide than a standard SPC (self-polishing co-polymer antifouling). Moreover, the biocide is retained on the surface, thus eliminating the need for polishing, as well as requiring only one coat compared to the two or three that are normally necessary for antifouling. The surface has the same smoothness as conventional biocide-free silicone-based fouling release coatings. Trials at sea and idle period tests over five years have demonstrated very high level of fouling prevention compared to standard SPC antifouling products.