Protection of Ships Hulls against Fouling

The English expression fouling – the overgrowth of the hull – can be characterized as the unwanted gathering of animals, algae, plants or microorganisms on the wetted surfaces of the vessel’s hull. The most widely recognized are:

  1. Molluscs
  2. Barnacles
  3. Seaweed

The checking of fouling on the structure offers, at the end of the day, an answer for the issue of the adhesion of marine organisms to the vessel’s hull that occurs through the accompanying stages:

  1. The first phase of the bio fouling process begins when the vessel has been submerged in seawater. Its surface promptly starts to amass adsorbed natural compounds as well as proteins, fragments of proteins the molecules of a polysaccharide.
  2. The second phase of fouling is the development of an organic microorganism layer as the microscopic organisms presently have the ideal conditions in which to multiply (micro fouling)
  3. The harshness of the microorganism settlements draws in much bigger organisms, for example, mussels, marine fungi and algae which show the third phase of fouling.
  4. In the fourth and the final phase of fouling (macro fouling) colonizers mainly comprising of bigger marine invertebrates (seaweed, sea moss, molluscs).

Fouling is represented by several components such as temperature levels, nutrient levels, sea currents, intensity and salinity of solar radiation. Most in danger are vessels cruising in sub-tropical and tropical areas.

For what reason do we require anti-fouling coatings?

The fouling of the vessel is the primary purpose behind the expansion in the roughness of the piece of the vessel beneath water level, hence the increase in hull frictional resistance as it travels through water. As a result, the vessel speed decreases and fuel consumption increases. The slime (bio film – slit) on the submerged area of the vessel is the reason for an increase in the vessel drag of roughly 2%. Mussels increase the vessel’s drag by 10% and mussels by up to 40% and seaweed by up to 10%. Increase in drag will specifically affect fuel utilization and altogether increased harmful gas discharges.

BIOCIDE COATINGS work on the guideline of biocide discharging. The fundamental biocide compound is copper (Cu SCN and Cu2O) which has ended up being more effective against bio fouling by animal organisms and less against fouling by plant organisms. The antifouling covering fundamentally comprises of a fast degradable biocide agent accelerator and a biocide agent. The most vital highlights of the antifouling coating are that it is human and environmentally friendly, its moderate price and low solubility in sea water. The antifouling coatings innovation can be grouped into:

  1. Hybrid Technology SPC/CDP Coatings
  2. Natural Rosin-based Coatings
  3. Controlled Depletion Polymer Coatings, (CDP)
  4. Contact Leaching Antifouling Coatings
  5. Self-cleaning Copolymer Coatings, (SPC)


Copper-based coatings are today still allowed but the likelihood exists that specific marine organisms are being harmed through them. Hence the improvement of coatings is moving toward finding BIOLOGICAL PAINTS which incapacitate vessel fouling to specific microorganisms and also ELECTROCONDUCTIVE PAINTS, which, with the assistance of hydrolysis of seawater and the reaction with CI-ions forms the CIO ions, forming a thin layer. In this way, the covering ought to always stay smooth. The drawback here is that so far, it has demonstrated just substantial in research center conditions. In the marina, this can be an issue as a result of the galvanic impact on nearby vessels or as a result of the leverage impact of a few vessels with the electric underwater protection.