Hempel Ship Coating Results in Fuel Savings

Wednesday, July 18, 2007
At a time when fuel savings have more importance than usual, test results for Hempel’s silicone antifouling Hempsail coating application showed an improvement in fuel savings of 10.6 % for a large container vessel. For such a vessel, 10.6 % could amount to up to $2.6 million annually. Tests were run by an independent testing entity, Force Technology, recognized as professional and objective among ship builders and operators. Towing tank experiments compared HEMPASIL silicone based fouling release coating to other generic antifoulings.

The question was whether a ship operator would achieve fuel savings by applying HEMPASIL, and how much. Results were much better than expected, and they were reproducible. To find out about the fuel usage and potential savings, a dedicated test rig was engineered and attached onto a towing carriage in a 240 meter long towing tank. The rig measured movement through water of test plates emulating ship surfaces, using different products on three different average hull roughness measures and over four different ship types. For all hull roughness scenarios, HEMPASIL showed a significant lower skin friction compared to other tin-free self-polishing antifoulings. The improvement in propulsion efficiency and subsequent fuel savings was considerable for the four different ship types tested. The large container vessel type stood out because there are so many deployed, they use large amounts of fuel, and so the savings potential was also large.

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