Janssen Preservation and Material Protection announced that an Econea-containing antifoulant coating is being used by the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard to protect military seacraft. Developed by Janssen PMP, Econea is a metal-free antifouling agent that protects vessels against aquatic growth without a potential negative impact on the marine environment compared to traditional, copper-based antifoulants. The coating was recently used to coat the 560-ft nuclear submarine USS Nevada. It is also being applied to U.S. Coast Guard aluminum hull crafts, eliminating the risk of galvanic corrosion that can occur when copper-based paints are applied to aluminum.
Research has shown that Econea provides effective protection against fouling at substantially lower concentrations in the paint formula than traditional copper-based antifouling agents. However, unlike copper compounds, Econea degrades rapidly once released at the surface of the paint – thereby not accumulating in the marine environment. In addition, unlike paints containing copper, Econea-based products can be effectively used on aluminum hulls without the risk of galvanic corrosion. Copper-free paints containing Econea also offer ship owners the potential advantages of added fuel savings and increased cargo compared to traditional copper-based paints, because eliminating copper provides a reduction in weight of up to 40 percent.