Micanti markets non-toxic, anti-fouling film
AMSTERDAM – Nothing gets more attached to your boat than you, except for the marine life beneath its waterline. So pay attention to a Port of Amsterdam test involving 2 service vessels: 1 treated with anti-fouling paint, the other with a non-toxic film said to keep marine organisms off the hull for years. Micanti, the Dutch maker of the adhesive film, says its goal is “to become the worldwide preferred supplier by 2015 for non-toxic anti-fouling products.“
Its Thorn D brand boasts a technology developed 12 years ago at Delft University of Technology. It is an adhesive film covered by tiny, swaying fibers that prevent marine organisms to attach themselves to a hull. Micanti says the film needs no upkeep, can be pressure-cleaned and saves a bundle because its anti-fouling qualities last up to 5 years. Importantly, the film does not reduce boat speed, says Micanti founder Rik Breur. “
De Waterkampioen, a Dutch boating magazine, tested a 50 x 50 cm patch of Thorn D on a motor yacht. In “a season of non-intensive sailing,” it said, the patch collected a brown dusting that could be brushed off “so nothing much attaches to Thorn-D.” The magazine added this suggests that “this anti-fouling shakes off any growth on a fast-moving vessel.” It put the cost of Thorn-D at €40 per sq. meter.
Breur sees a big market in the shipping, offshore and aquaculture sectors _ where displacement hulls face severe corrosion and fouling _ as well as recreational boating. Micanti reports encouraging results from tests on power boats. An electric-powered Duffy in Florida (photo) had no barnacles on its hull 18 months after getting a Thorn D cover. Micanti’s commercial director, Eric Pieters: We’ll be applying our film to a fleet of approximately fifteen work and crew vessels in the months ahead. They include boats run by towing companies in the Netherlands, the Middle East and a tug owned by the Port of Los Angeles.”
Breur says the swaying Thorn D fibers break the thread-like chains that single cell organisms make. And they prevent settlements of larger life forms, such as larvae of barnacles, tube worms, mussels and spores. Willem Spoelstra, the Port of Amsterdam’s environment and safety supervisor, says the Thorn D test on the two service vessels “will last a year. We have been given assurances that we’ll not encounter problems with the foil for at least 2 years.”