Paint technology responds to industry needs

Sigmacover 580 is an epoxy anticorrosive/tiecoat for underwater hulls Sigmacover 580 is an epoxy anticorrosive/tiecoat for underwater hulls

The marine coatings industry has experienced a period of intense product innovation over the last 25 years, responding both to regulation and the changing needs of shipowners, according to Sijmen Visser, global marketing manager marine, PPG Protective and Marine Coatings

The marine coatings industry has experienced a period of intense product innovation over the last 25 years, responding both to regulation and the changing needs of shipowners, according to Sijmen Visser, global marketing manager marine, PPG Protective and Marine Coatings

PPG consolidates its premium products around three main technologies: silicone-based, biocide-free fouling release coatings; silyl acrylate antifouling coatings which offer hydrolysing, self-polishing and self-smoothing properties; and zinc acrylate antifouling coatings that offer distinguished premium properties and at the same time are copper-free. All three technologies score highly in reducing environmental footprint and lowering operational expenses.

Shipowners today are under increasing pressures to keep costs to a minimum and this is no more clearly demonstrated than during the dry-dock process. In fact, after delivery of a vessel, the cost of dry dockings will be one of the major sources of expenditure for the shipowner.

Within the paints and coatings industry, the cost of paint is relatively minor. However, add to this surface pre-treatment, application costs, time in the dry dock and the fact that the vessel is off-hire, and the costs add up significantly.

At PPG, we have been working with our product specialists to come up with a product that can reduce dry dock time and ensure a fast-turnaround. The result is Sigmacover 580 - an epoxy anticorrosive/tiecoat for underwater hulls, designed for areas that need spot-blast of 40% or less.

Because the product functions both as an anticorrosive and as an antifouling tiecoat, it can be overcoated directly with a range of antifoulings and is suitable for use during routine maintenance and repair dry dockings. It has a practical overcoating window and because it can be applied at temperatures down to 5°C (41°F), it offers year-round application potential.

Once a vessel is in dry dock, PPH recommends the application of Sigmacover 580 to pre-blasted areas for spot repair in a single coat at a dry-film thickness (DFT) of 250 microns (9.9 mils). Once this layer is dry, the antifouling paint can then be applied directly over it. By simplifying the underwater hull specification and eliminating the need for a second anticorrosive or tiecoat layer, application time is reduced and productivity is increased – resulting in potential cost savings of up to 50%.

Importantly, during a standard dry docking, the use of Sigmacover 580 not only saves the application cost of a second anticorrosive coat, but also reduces dry dock costs and off-hire costs. In addition, savings are made on paint consumption as there is less overlapping, less overspray and less wastage.

Ultimately, products providing higher efficiency will assist the ship owner to put the vessel back into service quickly, thereby maximising its revenue-earning capacity. In summary, the shipowner benefits through fast turnaround, simple specifications, good anticorrosive protection and less paint wastage, adding up to significant cost savings. Benefits for the shipyard include one-coat application at 250 microns DFT, improved productivity, simplified logistics, year round application, easy application direct to metal, and a practical overcoating window.

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