New Antifouling Tech Spurs Uncertainty

Registering a growing market uncertainty toward the ability of new TBT-free antifouling to offer the same range of benefits as TBT-based antifouling, Jotun Marine Coatings is now advising shipowners and operators to seek the recommendations of coating manufacturers prior to applying TBT-free antifouling treatment to ship hulls.

"Determining the correct antifouling and the appropriate pre-paint procedure is becoming a very complicated issue. Jotun Marine Coatings is being approached by an increasing number of shipowners and operators seeking advice on new products now flooding the market and how these new technologies will affect the treatment of underwater hulls," says Frank Mohn, Director of Jotun Marine Coatings.

"This requires a detailed understanding of the various types of antifouling technologies being supplied by all manufacturers of anti-fouling." Jotun advises owners to expect following performance: Self-smoothing; Self-polishing; No build up of leached layers; Predictability; and Tailor-made solutions Since 1999, when the IMO adopted the resolution to phase out organotins used in marine coatings, paint suppliers have been scrambling to develop and introduce alternative anti-fouling paints in time to meet the January 1, 2003 deadline, something that has proved far from easy. The result, according to Jotun Marine Coatings, has been a "divergence in technology offered for sale." Along with the divergence of technology has come questions about the mechanism and properties of new TBT-free products and now many end-users, rightfully so, are concerned about making wrong decisions and having to live with less than good results, says Mohn.

From now until 2008, thousands of vessels with TBTbased antifoulings will drydock. The way these are handled, prior to application of new antifouling, will remain uncomplicated and offer no more challenge than it does today.

The real challenge for end-users is the wading through the wide choice-range of new TBT-free coatings.

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Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 22,  Dec 2002

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Maritime Reporter

First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.