The container shpping company Hapag-Lloyd says it has begun testing new coatings technology on nine of its ships in Hamburg, Marseilles and Singapore.
The new Hull Treatment Carrier (HTC) coating system uses several automated units that travel along the side of the ship’s hull while it is in dry dock.
The units remove old layers of paint from the hull with extremely high water pressure, and can then to evenly apply new paint.
The machining heads of the HTC system are able to reach up to 77 per cent of the approximately 9,300 square metres of surface area per ship.
Each HTC can apply up to 800 square metres of paint per hour.
Shipyard staff will still work by hand on the bulbous bow, below the bilge keels, at the propeller apertures, and on the flat bottom.
Hapag-Lloyd reports that the system has eliminated overspray as the thickness of the applied layer of paint is much more uniform.
“We can ensure a certain level of quality with automated application systems – and this system is less harmful to the environment,” explains Jan-Evan Lütje, a shipbuilding engineer in Hapag-Lloyd’s Technical Fleet Management.
“The performance indicators show that the smoother surface results in both lower fuel consumption at the start and a greater resilience to fouling over an entire 60-month period.”