VIDEO: Hull coating inspired by tuna skin wins global warming prevention award

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Parliamentary Vice-Minister of the Environment Tetsuya Yagi (left) presents the Japanese Government Award for Global Warming Prevention Activity Award to NPMC President Seiichiro Shirahata

Nippon Paint Marine Coatings reports that its low-friction hull coating system LF-Sea has won a 2020 Japanese Government Award for Global Warming Prevention Activity.

LF-Sea incorporates a specially formulated hydrogel that mimics the behavior of the mucuous layer of a tuna’s skin by creatings a microscopic water-trapped layer at the interface between the paint film and the seawater that leads to a reduction of ships’ frictional resistance.

According to NPMC, shipowners that have applied LF-Sea have benefitted from a reduced fuel consumption of between 4% and 10%, compared to regular SPC antifouling paints.

Japan’s Parliamentary Vice-Minister of the Environment, Tetsuya Yagi, presented the award to NPMC President Seiichiro Shirahata after a Select Committee found the coating system met all the criteria in the Countermeasure Technology category.
In particular, the judging panel found that coating contributed to reduced drag, consequently resulting in lower fuel consumption and reduced CO2 emissions from those vessels that have applied the hull coating.

“As regulations to limit ship emissions enter into force in January, we are delighted to have won this accolade,” said Mr. Shirahata. “This award recognizes the significant contribution the coating is having on reducing emissions and shipping’s impact on the global environment. Hull performance monitoring has shown that our low-friction technology is providing a real payback for customers compared to other systems.”

Makoto Nakagawa, NPMC Sales & Marketing General Manager, said: “This award recognizes the wide take-up of the LF-Sea series of coatings as an environmentally responsive system. As an environmentally conscientious company, we strive to deliver state-of-the-art products that contribute to industry initiatives to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.”

Coatings in the LF-Sea series, include the LF-Sea, LF-Sea150 HyB product, introduced in 2007, and A-LF-Sea, which was launched in 2013. However, a new underwater antifouling coating is set to be added to the series next year.

Last month, Nippon Paint Marine reported an annual increase in application of its coating LF-Sea coating products. As of June 2019, the company’s low-friction coatings had been applied to the hulls of more than 2,900 ships.

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