A new, biocide-free slime fighter
AMSTERDAM _ True to tradition, the 2013 Marine Equipment Trade Show _ a global high mass for yacht builders and their suppliers _ yielded a hefty crop of innovative ideas. The annual, B2B event saw the launch of International Paint’s IntersleekPro, a biocide-free hull coating that scares fouling organisms away. The product’s roots lie on a “slime farm” in England _ formally called the AkzoNobel Marine & Protective Coatings Technology Centre.
“Slime is a complex, varied and dynamic organism,” says Jim Brown, AkzoNobel Marketing Development Manager. “There are thousands of individual species in the oceans that can result in varying slime film thicknesses, textures and compositions.”
International Paint, part of the AkzoNobel group, has been working on a ’foul release’ technology for years. ”The easiest way to describe Intersleek is to compare it to a non-stick pan as it effectively prevents fouling from sticking to the surface in the same way a non-stick pan does with food,” says Brown.
The company says Intersleek Pro’s foul-release capabilities give hulls a smooth, glossy finish at the water line. The product contains both water-loving and water-hating properties that discourage organisms from settling in. If they do, they do so weakly and are easily released when a yacht moves or is cleaned. International Paint says test results in the Netherlands generated positive feedback from boaters who spoke of “improved speed and responsiveness, increased fuel efficiency and reduced engine load.” Intersleek Pro comes in white, blue, and black.
The mission of the AkzoNobel’s ‘’slime farm’’ is to generate technologies that yield materials that remove slime at ever-lower speeds. That’s important as both commercial ships and yachts tend to get bigger. Owners of both categories share a dilemma: to cut fuel costs, they are slowing down. But the slower a boat’s speed, the quicker the foul settles on their hulls.