Home' Ships and Shipping : May 2011 Contents NEW MATERIALS, EQUIPMENT, TECHNOLOGY and SERVICES
SHIPS AND SHIPPING May 2011 27
It has been known for about 20 years that special
micro-structures simulating the texture of shark skin can
lower hull drag by up to ten percent.
A new process for the production of these coatings on large
surfaces has now been developed by researchers in Germany and
the process allows coating application, embossing, and partial
curing in a single step.
The process involves using a UV-transparent stamp on
UV-curable polyurethane lacquer with a solids content close to 100
percent. After curing in sunlight, the coating will not be runny or
tacky.The coating material is free of volatile organic compounds
and contains nano-composites that give the coating the
necessary abrasion resistance and weathering stability.
"The results are promising and show the minimum of what is
possible in terms of durability. Commercial paint suppliers
should be able to outperform that," said Dr Volkmar Stenzel,
researcher at Fraunhofer IFAM, Bremen.
Drag measurements carried out in a ship model basin
demonstrate a surface-drag reduction of 5.2 percent for a
Further developments of the paint and application process are
ongoing including investigations into prevention of bio-fouling.
For further information contact:
Fraunhofer IFAM, Germany.
At the beginning of April, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI)
established a structure to deal integrally with installations of
ballast water treatment systems, as well as necessary ship
modifications, in vessels already in service.
The company is creating a new unit, located at the Yokohama
Dockyard of its Shipbuilding and Ocean Development Headquarters,
dedicated to comprehensive planning of all work from design and
engineering to ballast treatment system installation.
The International Convention for the Control and
Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM) was
adopted at the assembly of the International Maritime
Organization (IMO) in February 2004. In establishing its new
unit, MHI's aim is to provide customers with enhanced
convenience in consultation on related matters and speedy
response to customer needs as it prepares for full implementation
of the ballast water management (BWM) convention by 2017.
Leveraging its abundant know-how, accumulated through
both construction of new vessels and vessel modifications,
MHI is looking to further enhance its services for vessels
already in service.
The new "Ballast Water Treatment Project Team" will initially
consist of six members, including design engineers and experts in
ballast treatment systems, system deployment and piping, and
specialists in engineering work and production, as well as sales
staff. MHI will also mull progressively increasing the team
members as requirements may necessitate. Upon request the
team will also fully accommodate the needs of ships built by
other companies, with services to include provision of detailed
planning in the selection of a treatment system and related
equipment, as well as various engineering work including
installation and associated modifications.
At present, the installation of a ballast water treatment system
on an existing ship generally takes about one year to complete
-- from selection and procurement of the desired system, to
system design, completion of modifications and installation. As a
result, it is increasingly necessary to install such ballast water
treatment systems during periodical maintenance, especially in
the case of major shipping companies. MHI has already received
an order for system installation/modification under this scheme
and it is currently responding to several inquiries.
The BWM convention is an international agreement that will
require both new and existing ships to install a ballast water
treatment system to purify ballast water prior to its discharge
from the ship. Ballast water consists of seawater taken into and
discharged from dedicated water tanks to provide stability and
adjust the ship's trim as desired. Although several years will pass
before the convention takes effect, many ships are expected to be
subject to its regulations. In addition, some shipbuilders have
announced intent to concentrate exclusively on the construction
of new ships and will no longer handle either ship modifications
or installations of ballast water treatment systems on existing
ships, even those they built earlier. Against this backdrop,
preparation for the convention's implementation has become a
major issue in both the shipbuilding and shipping industries.
MHI undertakes new shipbuilding at its three shipyards in
Nagasaki, Kobe and Shimonoseki; repairs and modification work
are performed at these three shipyards and its Yokohama
Dockyard. Through the activities of its newly established project
team, the company looks to integrate the entire breadth of its
know-how and experience relating to ballast water treatment
system installations. MHI intends to aggressively promote
expansion of its ship modification business, while
simultaneously further enhancing the level of its services
extended for previously delivered ships.
For further information contact:
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Japan.
Scanning electron micrograph of a riblet-structured coating surface
PHOTOS: Fraunhofer IFAM
Drag-reducing textured coating applied in a single step
MHI's new "Ballast Water Treatment Project Team" to install systems in existing vessels
The team will be located at MHI's Yokohama Dockyard
The riblet coating system developed by the Fraunhofer IFAM. The low-drag
coating is applied automatically to a component using a roller application unit
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