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Foul Release Systems and Drag. Consolidation of Technical Advances in the Protective and Marine Coatings Industry

Lookup NU author(s): Maxim Candries, Dr Colin Anderson, Professor Mehmet Atlar


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Foul Release systems offer a low energy surface that prevents firm adhesion of fouling organisms on underwater hulls. Above a critical threshold speed, hydrodynamic forces wash off any attached organisms. Particularly for fast, high-activity vessels, Foul Release systems offer an environmentally attractive, long-term, cost effective alternative to toxic biocidal anti-foulings. Research carried out at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the UK has investigated whether the specific surface properties of Foul Release systems have a beneficial effect on drag. Flat plate towing tank experiments carried out in the Department of Marine Technology and in collaboration with CEHIPAR, Spain*, have shown that the total resistance of Foul Release coatings is lower than that of biocidal SPC antifouling systems, when first applied. To date, this laboratory-observed drag reduction has only been observed on ships in the first month or two of service life. After this, Foul Release coatings generally only show speed and fuel performance that is similar to, but not better than, that of tributyltin (TBT) SPC anti-foulings. This is explained by the accumulation of slime fouling, which can remain attached on Foul Release coatings even at speeds in excess of 30 knots. Raft panel testing and full ship applications of Foul Release systems have shown that the slime does not lead to further fouling, and does not detract from the desirable environmental profile of such coatings. Given their proven 5 year dock-to-dock capability, even in high fouling areas, Foul Release coatings are therefore ideal as alternatives for fast and active ships as the marine industry moves towards a ban on TBT anti-foulings.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Candries M, Anderson CD, Atlar M

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Protective Coatings Europe (PCE) 2001 Conference

Year of Conference: 2001

Pages: 273-286